Text and images by Janet Athanasiou
On November 18th, Sloan played the Rock and Roll Hotel as part of their One Chord to Another 20th anniversary tour. The venue, a misnamed bar (not hotel) located in northeast Washington DC, which boasts a stage and bar on the ground floor, a second floor lounge, and rooftop deck. The first floor music venue holds 400 people and while the acoustics aren’t great, they’re not the worst in DC. The smaller venue made for an intimate feel for the show, particularly when Sloan played their hits and everyone sang along.
Sloan took the stage shortly after 9pm, and opened the first of their 3-set show by playing One Chord to Another in its entirety. Still enthusiastic about the music on the tail end of a 20th anniversary tour, Sloan didn’t engage in a lot of banter, but played the album through, encouraging the crowd to sing and clap along.
The second set was full of favourites, Underwhelmed, Money City Maniacs, Who Taught You to Live Like That, and The Other Man to name a few, though as a Canadian expat, I was disappointed to not hear The Rest of My Life. Chris Murphy was member who did the most engaging with the crowd, asking the town of Washington if anything was new, and jokingly encouraging the audience to listen closely to the lyrics of their songs for a deeper political meaning. Coax Me and I Can Feel It made up the third and final encore set.
Per the usual Sloan democracy, all members took turns singing songs, with drummer Andrew Scott coming out from behind the kit a few times to play guitar and sing lead on songs, while Murphy took over the drums and Jay Ferguson played bass.
This was my first time seeing Sloan live, and after having been to the show, I wish I hadn’t waited 20 years before getting out to see them. They did not disappoint, and it was great that the crowd was into the show too!