One thing I hate: Drama queens. Especially now that I am older. Now that I am older I have zero time for drama queens. People who bring drama with them just need to stay away.
Unfortunately in my experience, there’s always a drama queen or two at a record store. Even worse when they’re in a position of power. Such was my experience in seeing one of my favourite Canadian bands: Sloan.
It was February 2000, and Sloan were touring behind their latest release, the underrated Between The Bridges album. I bought it twice, I liked it so much: On September 12, 1999, I received my pre-order from HMV, which contained two exclusive trading cards (still sealed today). Then in October, while seeing Phantom of the Opera in Toronto (Paul Stanley, woo!) I picked up the Japanese import which had two bonus cuts: “Summer’s My Season”, and “At the Edge of the Scene”.
I loved “Summer’s My Season”. Besides being a great Chris song, it contains my favourite Sloan lyric of all time:
You must remember this
Kiss is still just Kiss
Their style is denial
I’ll meet you when we’re older
Consider it a race
But who would be the one to paint their face?
When Sloan hit Lulu’s Roadhouse in February we all bought tickets. We grabbed a table on the left side of the massive bar (world’s longest when it was open, actually) and enjoyed an opening set by The Flashing Lights.
Myself and Trev and a couple others sat on the stage side of the table, facing the stage (somewhat obviously). Some of the girls sat on the opposite side of the table, also facing the stage. Now, logically, this means we were not facing each other. Normally when you go to a concert you want to look at the stage.
Sloan came on, and played all of Between the Bridges. They played a lot of Navy Blues and One Chord, too. They were friggin’ amazing. Weirdly, they played absolutely nothing from the EP, nor Smeared, nor Twice Removed. Not even “Underwhelmed”. While this surprised me, I was hardly disappointed, especially when Chris came out and played “Summer’s My Season”. I sang (shouted) along to every friggin’ word even though nobody else in the hall seemed to know the song. I didn’t care. It’s a fucking concert! It’s like Dee Snider says…are you worried about somebody laughing at you at a fucking concert?
Besides, how likely are we ever to be treated to all of Between the Bridges again? Probably not too likely, especially with “Summer’s My Season” intact. Not an experience to be taken for granted.
Anyway, I rocked out, hard, played air guitar, air drums, sang, shouted, had an awesome time. The girls, apparently, did not.
The following Monday at work, one of them spilled the beans. “Sloan sucked. That was one of the worst concerts I’ve ever seen.”
OK, whatever, that’s a matter of opinion I guess. Sloan had just released the double live 4 Nights at the Palais Royale less than a year earlier so I was fully saturated with live versions of the old songs. I wanted new songs and I got them.
But this was more than a matter of favourite albums. Apparently, I was told, “You guys were being total snobs, too.”
“What? Snobs? What you are talking about?”
“Well, you guys ignored us all night. You didn’t even talk to us.”
Oh. My. God. It was a fucking concert, not a visit to the fucking mall! It was 115 dB that night! Are you fucking kidding me? And don’t you remember me talking to you afterwards about what a great time I had? I vehemently denied all accusations but it was absolutely no use.
This led to a week of cold shoulders, snitty comments, and silent treatments. Always a good time, particularly when it involves people with more seniority than you, too! Drama. Never was a big fan of it. But even though this behaviour soured the whole experiece for me (believe me, even when stuff smoothed out, the concert was never brought up again), I still love that era of Sloan, that album, and all the songs they played that night. Just that I never even entertained the idea of going to see a concert with that group of people again!