Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Sloan @ the Black Cat

Rob: I never thought I'd say this, "Thank you, Black Cat." I know G.H. won't share in my appreciation, but I just had to say it. Arriving solo for the show, I walked up to the ticket counter, set down a twenty and was given a twenty and a ticket. The really cute girl behind the table told me someone upstairs was being nice. Alright.

I also was amazed at the crowd. Although small, everyone seemed into the show. There were a few groups of people singing along to every song with fists pumping and heads bobbing. I was quite impressed.

As for the show, I would rate it strong to quite strong. Within the first hour, they played over 20 songs, many of which were played right after another. The songs were great. A few of my favorites included "Who Taught You To Live Like That?", "The Good In Everyone," and "Money City Maniacs." The highlight of the evening was when Chris Murphy and Patrick Pentland came out to start the encore and played an abbreviated "The Other Man" followed by a few more teases and then the whole band blasted into "Losing California." The weakest parts of the show were when drummer Andrew Scott came out from behind the skins, donned a guitar and took over the mic. He's a fantastic, engaging drummer and should probably stay seated.

What about you GH? I understand you have a different opinion of the Black Cat staff.

GH: Honestly I'm sick of talking about it. They're occasionally real cheery, but mostly they seem like the saddest bunch of bar-attendees I've ever come across. It must suck to work at a place that books great acts and get to see them and meet them all for free. Granted, you have to put up with free, "secret" Good Charlotte shows, but whatever. Small price to pay. One of these days I'm going to be greeted at the door with big smiles and good cheer, and I'm going to take a picture of it and post it here.

Still, whatever I say about the Black Cat doesn't matter -- we don't really have a choice and they do a fine job booking loads of bands I really want to see. Sloan was no exception, and I thought they put on a very good show. I like them. I don't love them. Why? Can't put my finger on it. They're catchy enough, and a very tight band, and I really love the drummer, but the songs don't seem to have much conflict or tension -- none of that bittersweet resignation that just kills on classic cuts like "September Gurls" or "Surrender."

Or maybe it's that the one song of theirs that seems to have these characteristics in spades is "Right or Wrong", and they didn't play that. They did play 30 other songs, and their range is undeniable. All five of them can sing, all of them can apparently play guitar, and having four different songwriters with similar aims but not so similar means really benefits the catalog. There isn't a bad song in the bunch. Anyway, enough of my cynicism -- everyone there seemed to love every minute of the show, and I had a perfectly enjoyable time.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"It must suck to work at a place that books great acts and get to see them and meet them all for free." or maybe it just sucks getting paid minimum wage to clean up broken glass, rescue passed out drunks from their own vomit, clean them up and make sure they get home safe, while making sure the self-indulgent 12 year olds aren't putting the establishment at risk just because they want to get a buzz. Maybe it just sucks having to be suspicious of everyone and getting constantly demeaned and harassed by the patrons. Crowd control and security don't leave much space/time for a gregarious nature.