Bowery Ballroom / New York, New York

Sloan, Bowery Ballroom, Commonwealth, Toronto, 500 Up, One Chord to AnotherWith more than twenty years of experience under their belt, Sloan is an impeccable live act. It was my third or fourth time seeing one of my all-time favorite bands, and they continue to exceed my expectations (besides continually refusing to bust out my favorite song “She Says What She Means.”)

Billed as “An Evening With Sloan,” the band essentially opened for themselves with a short set where each member of the four piece band took center stage for three songs (excluding drummer Andrew Scott, whose nearly twenty-minute “Forty-Eight Portraits” counted for his whole set). This individual spotlighting follows the model of their new record, Commonwealth, where every member, each one a talented songwriter, had a full side of the LP to do whatever they pleased. While the record is definitely good, most new songs were met with a polite disinterest from the crowd, who perked up more during the second set, which was longer and more hit filled. Strangely, the band played nothing from their classic ’90s LP, One Chord to Another, but perhaps that’s because the record is overdue for a deluxe reissue and tour like they did a few years ago for another masterpiece record of theirs, Twice Removed. Minor set list gripes aside, an encore featuring a tender “The Marquee and the Moon,” complete with a twinkling disco-ball above them, and a powerful version of their early single “500 Up” was a moment for the books, which left me leaving the Bowery with a smile on my face.

– Layne Montgomery

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2 Responses

  1. “While the record is definitely good, most new songs were met with a polite disinterest from the crowd…”

    Huh. It seemed like the audience was really grooving to the new tunes from where I was standing. One of the best times I’ve seen them live.

  2. At their Boston show, the crowd was very into the new material, myself included. The older stuff is great, but I’d much MUCH rather hear the newer songs. Being stuck in the past is a bummer.