Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sloan @ The Fillmore, Detroit, MI 11/28/2009

Also on the bill: The Hard Lessons (opener) and Sam Roberts (headliner). Sloan was the meat in the sandwich.
Take It Upon Yourself
Can't Face Up
At The Edge Of The Scene
Believe In Me
The Other Man
Don't You Believe A Word
Stand By Me, Yeah
The N.S.
Unknown new Andrew song
Where Are You Now?
Midnight Mass
Oh Dear Diary
Everything You've Done Wrong
Who Taught You To Live Like That?
It Is Never
Fading Into Obscurity
This was my first Sloan show since January of 2007. I missed them in June of 2008 because I didn't want to sit through 50 other bands to see them, so it's been a long time since I've seen Sloan and have been jonesing.
What an eclectic setlist! Lots of oddballs that us diehards enjoyed, but no doubt the casual fan was left scratching their head over. Since it wasn't Sloan's show (they were billed as co-headliners but were not even listed on the marquee outside) and this was a radio 'festival' show, a more hits-type setlist might have gotten a better response. They played the whole of their great new Hit & Run EP, and I was disappointed to not find a physical release for sale at the merchandise table. There was also an unreleased Andrew song which was, again, an odd choice but was a good song nonetheless. At The Edge of the Scene (B-side to Don't You Believe A Word and/or Japanese bonus track for Between the Bridges) was a shock to hear live. Can Summer's My Season be far behind?
Since adding the Fifth Sloan in 2006 for touring purposes, they have been tighter live. I used to enjoy the musical chairs Sloan of yore. They did The N.S., which I haven't seen them play live since Grand Rapids in May of 2002. At that show, Andrew played organ and sang. This time, he played guitar and sang. So yeah, a little instrument swapping, but not as much as the olden days.
The Fillmore was mostly sold out, with the back 1/3 of the balcony being empty. Given our economy and the general lack of popularity of these bands in the US, I'd say it was good sized draw. I wonder how many of our Canadian friends crossed the bridge to see them? All in all, 16 songs in one hour, no obligatory crowd BS-ing except to plug their new EP, and solid show.

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