Partway through “The Answer Was You” – and while I was in the pit, shooting the band – Chris Murphy, one of Sloan’s singers – they all do leads at some point – noticed my “Keith & Ron & Dez & Henry” t-shirt (which I fell in love with when I saw Dimitri from OFF! wearing it).
“BLACK FLAG!?!” he shouted, smiling broadly at me. I bobbed my head. “Yup”. He nodded back. Guitarist (and my longtime crush) Patrick Pentland also grinned and nodded as I walked past. Sloan are Black Flag fans and I knew this – I’d been chatting about the t-shirt to Pentland on Twitter for a bit. But it was a MOMENT, and a moment that reminded me that Sloan do like their crazy rock. It’s in their guitar-work – Pentland shredded, while also looking fucking rad in his green-laced 8-hole Docs and checked shirt – and in 20 years of their hooky songs. And tonight, June 3, they were running through some of the best.
And by some, I mean, “not all.” Noticeably absent on this “20 years of Sloan” tour (“XX” – geddit?), however, was “Underwhelmed”, the song that possibly catapulted them into the hearts of Canucks and northern-US’ers from the 1992 album Smeared. Nada. Really? ”Coax Me” wasn’t there either. Nor was “The Good in Everyone”. So that equalled colossal bummer. I mean, can you bill it as a retrospective tour if you leave out a lotta the biggies? But wah wah wah, can’t always get what you want etc etc. I know that. Thankfully, there was SO much more, including tracks off their latest, The Double Cross, plus “Money City Maniacs”? Oh dear gods yes please! While some of it hit and some of it missed, all of it reminded us that, yunno, Sloan are one of Canada’s best. Hey you! You’ve been around for a while! Which is awesome.
And, hey, you! Murphy? Pentland? You wanna come around and listen to “My War” for a while? \m/