More Canadian rockers were in Chicago last night. This time, it was Sloan, the great and long-running power pop band from Nova Scotia. Sloan’s been making bright, highly tuneful records since 1992, which is when they released their best-known song, “Underwhelmed,” the one that you might have heard a few times on at least a few American radio stations. But Sloan really hasn’t gotten its due in the U.S. in the 17 years since then. Whatever. They still keep making cool music.
Sloan played Monday night (Dec. 7) at Lincoln Hall, performing songs from a new EP called Hit & Run as well as a good cross-section of songs from previous albums. But, hey, why’d they skip playing “A Sides Win,” which was written out on the set list? I guess they didn’t feel like playing that one. One of the best things about seeing Sloan in concert is enjoying the variety of vocals. All four of these guys take turns on lead vocals, so even though Chris Murphy seems to be the front man more than anyone else (Andrew Scott, Patrick Pentland and Jay Ferguson), it also feels like a very democratic band with lots of talent to go around.
The band was in fairly high spirits Monday, especially during the last part of the show, when Murphy struck some slightly ridiculous rock-star poses and got down close to some audience members. Things got really festive when Sloan kicked off its encore with “Underwhelmed.” Like most of the songs Sloan played Monday night, it sounded catchy, almost shiny, but it had some crunchy electric-guitar kick as well.