Sloan @ Commodore -- 12/15/09

Well, I certainly did not mean to not update for a week, but that's what happens when your computer goes kerblewy. But better late than never, here's my writeup for the Sloan show last week.

I don't know how it was that I had never seen Sloan live before. Maybe cos I've always been a more casual fan, but despite hearing countless times of their excellence live, I just never got (or took) the chance. Well, when I heard they were playing at the Commodore (and for only $20!) I knew I had to rectify this mistake.

The first of two opening bands of the night was Fine Mist. A boy/girl duo from Vancouver who, ironically or not, seemed to come straight out of an eighth grade talent show, Casio Keyboard beats and all. most of the songs consisted of a looped beat and the two of them singing, and, well, if the crowd's reaction (apathy) was any indication, more than a few people felt the way I did.

Magneta Lane was up next. I had seen them before a couple years ago with Small Sins, but didn't really remember too much of them. They weren't bad, but had a kind of Generic All-Girl Band sound to them (which is hard to describe, but if you heard it you'd know). Some catchy stuff, but a few of the songs were a bit same-y.

And finally, Sloan! They started out proving they weren't taking any crap by kicking out not one but two people for general jackassery (I think) by the time the second song was over. They focused most of the set on the new EP, Hit & Run, and some of the older hits. Even though I wasn't yet familiar with the new EP, that didn't stop me from enjoying the hell out of the show. Incredibly tight, swapping instruments throughout the night and fantastically engaging, they proved why they're so highly regarded as a live band. Even the old songs they made fresh, but not unrecognizable. At one point segueing from The Other Man right into Money City Maniacs, both songs were great live, with the latter having some nifty siren-like lighting -- resulting in the pic here; those are lights, not pyrotechnics. They ended the main set with an insanely energetic She Says What She Means, and came back for a few more older songs in the encore, including Coax Me, which say the lead singer of Magneta Lane come out to help on vocals. They finished off the night with The Good In Everyone which, again, tore the place down.
Even though they played for about an hour and a half, the set seemed way too short. I know they have a massive catalogue of songs, so I didn't expect to hear everything I wanted, but there were a few I wish they had done. That aside, it was still a great set from a legendary Canadian band.