Democracy in Music: An Evening with Sloan

By Adrian Lysenko
Photos by Tyler Sklazeski 

I don’t think Sloan is limited to choices when coming up with a set list. Having been together for 23 years, 11 studio albums, and 30 plus singles, the Toronto-based rock band can draw on a lot of material. This was the case at their October 8 show at the Outpost, where they played for more than two hours with no opening band.

On tour promoting their recent album Commonwealth, (read the review in our October issue) the band started off with drummer Andrew Scott taking the forefront on vocals and guitar, while Chris Murphy did an impressive job of filling in for him on the kit. This exemplifies the band’s almost democratic nature, where on their newest album (which is a double disc CD and a four-sided vinyl) each side is dedicated to a different band member’s singing and songwriting. With Murphy on bass and Scott on drums, the band performed their latest single “Keep Swinging (Downtown),” which was when the crowd seemed to get pumped up.

Mixing things up from their latest material the band would perform some older singles then break into guitarist Jay Ferguson’s section of Commonwealth with two of the stronger tracks of the album “You’ve Got a Lot on Your Mind” and “Cleopatra.” Although these songs were well received, it seemed that when the band would play their previous singles like “If It Feels Good Do It,” “Who Taught You to Live Like That?” and their glorious rock anthem “Money City Maniacs,” that the audience would go nuts.

Overall, I think it was a smart move by Sloan to play a long show with no opening band, allowing them to promote their new double album and playing some favorites along the way.