Sloan confidently took the Grog Shop stage last night—pretty much like they’ve been doing for twenty years.
If the healthy turnout despite flooded streets and a continuous downpour wasn’t enough to emphasize Sloan’s strong Cleveland fan-base, the reaction to the opening song was. The crowd released a deafening roar within the first three chords of the 2007 hit “Before the End of the Race,” and immediately began to sing along.
The tune made a perfect transition after impressive performances by two opening groups—Cleveland-based The Modern Electric and fellow Canadians Dearly Beloved.
Picks from Sloan’s new Double Cross album were true to their Indie rock roots and fit effortlessly into the performance. “Shadow of Love,” “Everything You’ve Done Wrong,” and “Unkind” were refreshing and instantly welcomed between classics.
Old favorites included “Gimme That” from the 2004 album Action Pact and “The Marquee and the Moon” from 1998’s Between the Bridges. Some in the audience were overtaken by Sloan’s infectious melody and burst into dance, twirling under the flashing lights of the Grog Shop’s sophisticated grunge venue.
The power pack of five talented musicians demonstrated their professionalism but with a relaxed charisma that kept the crowd engaged throughout the show. The night’s best feature was when each member stepped up for a turn at the mic. Their tight vocals and concise harmony effectively moved the crowd—literally, with trance-like bouncing and swaying.
Sloan’s clean sound and polished performance let listener’s know that they aren’t just “some band,” and reminds the U.S. that Sloan is a northern force to be reckoned with. —Sara Portwood