- October 27, 2010

Sloan's Chris Murphy. (Melissa Hennigar Photo)

A modest crowd of around 200 leisurely filed into the Grawood on Friday night to witness a homecoming event within a Homecoming event.

Patrick Pentland and Jay Ferguson are Dal grads who are perhaps more famously known as the guitar players in the Halifax-bred power-pop band Sloan. It should be noted that lead singer and bass player Chris Murphy is also rumored to have graced our hallowed halls, though this information is unconfirmed.

Mr. Pentland and Mr. Ferguson graduated with BAs in 1991 and 1989 respectively. This is not the first time the former grads have stormed the stage of the Grawood, but this performance was perhaps more meaningful given the alumni connection.

The evening was kicked into high gear thanks to a rollicking performance by Toronto-based The Golden Dogs. This five-piece group has been named one of the best live bands in Canada by CHART magazine and after watching their performance, it was easy to see why.

The small crowd did not deter The Golden Dogs from leaving their everything on stage and perhaps stealing a little piece of each audience member’s heart during their endearingly enthusiastic performance.

The boys from Sloan were clearly quite taken with the Toronto rockers, as all four members of the band were enjoying the opening act from a quiet table at the back of the Grawood. But that’s just all part of what homecoming is about -- reconnecting with old friends. The Golden Dogs have opened for Sloan on numerous occasions before.

The previous night, Sloan played their 1994 critically acclaimed album, Twice Removed in its entirety at the Paragon Theatre as part of the Halifax Pop Explosion. The band had a more varied playlist at Friday night’s show, much to the delight of the fans in attendance.

While the majority of the crowd in attendance at the Grawood was just barely out of their diapers when Twice Removed was released, they had clearly done their rock ‘n’ roll homework.

Songs like Losing California and The Lines You Amend generated audience participation and some spirited sing-a-longs. Other songs, like the lesser known Marquee and the Moon didn’t generate as much crowd participation, but were still enthusiastically received.

Even though some of the members of Sloan may be hovering near their 20-year class reunion, they still sure can rock.


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