I saw one of the best rock shows of my 49 years as Sloan blew both doors off the Double Door tonight in Chicago. I had a couple early takers from a pool of co-workers and all of them bailed, but I’m glad. Being by myself allowed the freedom to park myself dead center, three rows from the mayhem and just let it blow through me. Compared to last week’s 7 on the energy scale, this Monday night tilt spiked to 11. From “Believe in Me” off the new record through “The Good in Everyone” from 1998’s One Chord to Another, the set list tempo built and about ¾ through the set, the band was singeing the nose hairs eyebrows off early arrivers in the front row.

I’m looking forward to seeing the set list and photos on Sloan’s site, but flying out of the cobwebs are “All I Am Is All You’re Not,” “Emergency 911,” “Burn For It,” of course “I’m Not a Kid Anymore,” “Witch’s Wand” and “Ill Placed Trust” which may have been the peak of the sonic boom that went on in that room until quenched with ice hot Coke fizz.

I’m sorry, but my words just can’t convey it.

After the show, nicest guy in rock Chris Murphy chatted with fans, posed for pics and signed autographs. I stuck around just to hear this extraordinary “regular” guy talk about music, the hard graders among the fan base, working in Canada, content laws up North, his songwriting inspiration (he has none) and barely breaking even on US tours. He said they’d likely never tour Europe because of the cost and because “no one knows who we are over there.” What a loss for European music fans. They should give up Molson and import some Sloan. We chatted a bit about last weeks TT’s show, I thanked him for the music and said goodbye.

On the solo cab ride from the club back to the “W Lakeshore,” it occurred to me I’ve avoided those situations in the past. Years ago I recalled Jeff chatting with Jeff Tweedy after a Wilco show, and I hung back. When I took Megan to see Sloan in Hampton a couple summers ago, we ran into Chris outside after the show, but said nothing… Not tonight. Not anymore. Maybe I’m starting to figure this thing out.

“Ill placed trust
Buried in dust…”