Sloan / Will Currie and the Country French / Zeus Mod Club Theatre, Toronto ON March 11

Sloan / Will Currie and the Country French / Zeus Mod Club Theatre, Toronto ON March 11
Sloan's CMW appearance marked the third time in under a year the band played the Mod Club. Gigging so frequently makes staying home and listening to A-Sides Win on loud a tempting and cheap alternative. But Sloan are a self-aware band. So to mix it up they included a pair of young retro-pop acts that complimented the quartet's '60s pop and '70s rock inspired tunes.

Locals Zeus played serviceable '60s inspired indie rock, followed by Waterloo's Will Currie and the Country French, the latest signing to a revived murderrecords. Currie and his crew blew through a tight set of '70s Paul McCartney and Elton John-inspired piano pop. Watch out for these kids.

Sloan sauntered onstage and quickly launched into "Penpals" and "Losing California," reminding the crowd they were more than a greatest hits jukebox. And while they weren't about to deny fans old favourites like "The Lines You Amend" and "Money City Maniacs," the set was peppered with a generous helping of tracks from last year's excellent Parallel Play.

Typically Sloan's many instrument switches are the loose screw in the band's live set - just as the crowd is at peak excitement level they'll pause to switch drummers. But a faux radio station was set up at the back broadcasting in the club and online. Along with acting as the night's DJ and MC the "station" played fake ads for real companies (Moosehead, Caplansky's Deli) in between the switches. But by giving the audience something on which to focus their attention the band was able to sustain the energy and momentum of the show.

For the encore they brought Will Currie and crew back to run through last year's standalone duet "Push Pins" and finished with "She Says What She Means." Sloan may over-saturate Toronto, but they always make their gigs a worthwhile endeavour.