The trip to the Bell House in Brooklyn is cold on a December night but the chance of seeing the legendary indie pop band Sloan is well worth getting your mittens out for. There’s something magical in the air when Sloan comes to town, almost like Santa Clause (Tis the season, right?). Fans expect nothing less than an amazing show and the band always delivers. At the venue early to interview the band, I had the pleasure of watching their soundcheck which was a Sloan fan dream come true. Even when they’re playing to a crowd of five it’s like they’re playing for a room of 500.
Openers Magenta Lane took the stage at 9pm and managed to get the crowd pumped up. Three females who know how to own the stage and their instruments is the best way to describe the band that have such a raw energy. With a bit of pop rock edge mixed with a little garage influence the Canadian trio knew how to work the crowd. Singer Lexi Valentine’s voice is incredible and heartfelt as she plays her guitar through a sea of hair. Though quite enjoyable the band wasn’t even off the stage yet before the crowd started in with the classic Sloan chant .””Sllllllooooooannnnn
Finally Sloan took the stage at a quarter after 10 to a packed venue. Opening with a new song off their Hit and RunEP (Murderecords) ”Take it Upon Yourself,” it was a great choice to start the set with. One thing that was great about this show was that the band brought out a lot of old, missing tunes that we haven’t heard on stage in a while. Only supporting the five song ep at this time it left everything to fair game, which leads me to the next tune. Sloan brought out “At the Edge of the Scene,” one of my personal favorites that dates back 10 years. Never thinking I’d hear this song live, I was amazed with how great this song was onstage. The back and fourth vocals of Chris Murphy and Jay Ferguson were pulled off flawlessly making it everything I hoped it would be. Throughout the night as the band switched instruments and lead vocals, it was one surprise after another. Murphy took over with such tunes as the always crowd pleasing “Money City Maniacs,” and “Keep on Thinkin’.” Patrick ‘the hit maker’ Pentland brought out some oldies but goodies as well ranging from “Friendship” to “Everything You’ve Done Wrong” as Jay Ferguson brought out “Don’t You Believe a Word” and “Witches Wand.” Andrew Scott came out from behind the drums for an extended period of time which is always nice to see. Playing such old favorites as “The N.S.” and “The Great Wall,” he nailed every bit of it.
The energy of the band always manages to match the enthusiasm of the crowd. Another great thing about Sloan is they may not be the early 20 somethings they were 18 years ago, but they still put on an amazing live performance that cannot be reckoned with. After playing the always wonderful sing-a-long “Who Taught You To Live Like That,” the band headed off stage and the “Sllllllooooooannnnn,” chants began immediatly. Not letting the fans wait to long, after a couple of minutes the band returned promptly and surprised us all by kicking in with “The Other Man,” a rather slow Murphy tune to start off the encore. From there he went into the infamous “Chester the Molester,” as Jay took over for “C’mon C’mon (We’re Gonna Get it Started),” and ending with Patrick’s “The Good in Everyone.” A perfect ending to a perfect night. Long live Sloan!
Come back to Modern Mystery in the coming days for our interview with Sloan’s Chris Murphy!
Check Out More Pictures After the Jump!
Watch Sloan Play “Chester the Molester” at Soundcheck
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