Last-Minute Plans: Sloan Returns To Chicago Tonight!

I first saw Sloan in the mid-‘90s, and have seen most every tour they’ve played since then. The most remarkable thing about the band is that they haven’t picked up an inch of rust to blunt their explosive live shows in over two decades of my own personal experience. How many bands can legitimatly claim they’ve kept their output at such high quality over their entire career?

Of course, the band is helped by the fact that all four members are principal songwriters, in one of those rare arrangements where each artist has their own unique voice, but their inclinations mesh seamlessly with the band as a whole. And I can’t help but imagine the title of their latest album, Steady, is a bit of a nod to the group’s incredible longevity.

It’s one thing to stay together for decades and create good music; it’s a whole ‘nother thing to do that and still create great music.

Steady continues Sloan’s long run of albums that haven’t faltered in quality, mixing ‘70s arena rock sounds with meticulously crafted arrangements, and a seemingly endless bag of surprising and always magnetic hooks. I have yet to introduce someone new to their sound and not watch with extreme happiness as their eyes widened, realizing they’ve been missing out on a huge chunk of amazing music. Which, inevitably, leads to that person digging deep into Sloan’s catalog and walking away in surprise that there’s not a single weak album to be found in there.

Sloan returns to Chicago to play Bottom Lounge (1375 W Lake St) tonight, so whether you’re an old fan or have never heard of the band before, I can’t think of a better way to spend this St. Patrick’s Day—ensconced in excellent music.

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Jim Kopeny / Tankboy

Tankboy resides in the body of Jim Kopeny and lives in Mayfair with Pickle the Kitten and a beagle named Betty (RIP) who may actually be slightly more famous than most of the musicians slogging through the local scene. He's written about music for much longer than most bands you hear on the radio have even existed.