An Intimate Evening with Slaughter Beach, Dog

Slaughter Beach, Dog’s (“SBD”) sold-out show at Le Ministère was both cozy and intimate. Instead of touring with the usual ensemble, SBD’s North American solo tour was led by none other than Jake Ewald. As one of the founding members of Modern Baseball, Jake is no stranger to the indie-rock genre. In fact, his past work with Modern Baseball and his current solo tour under the SBD banner are indicative of his role in defining the genre throughout the past decade. 

One of the smaller music venues in Montreal, the stage at Le Ministère was set up with an assortment of vintage furniture and other household items that the artists picked up in different cities throughout the tour. The collection of different furniture and objects that populated the stage, whether intentional or not, created an atmosphere that was more akin to watching a friend jam out in their living room. It felt as though Jake invited you to his home and performed for you. Soothing and gentle, SBD’s melodies were sung to us as though they were sung to us by a friend we wished we had. In fact, when Jake Ewald addressed the audience throughout the show, it remained apparent that he was truly appreciative of his fans - even taking a song request from a member of the audience during the encore. 

SBD’s setlist, as well as the choice of songs that they covered further cemented the idea that their show was truly one that was meant to recreate that “I'm watching my friend play the guitar in their living room” feeling for the audience. With the born and bred Nashville singer, Erin Rae, opening the show, her performance echoed the feeling of closeness that would permeate throughout Le Ministère for the rest of the evening. 

Soon after the opening act, Jake emerged from the side door, shuffling through the crowd to finally get on stage. Performing the first few songs of the set alone, the solo act would later become a duo with guitarist Adam Meisterhans, and finally a trio with Erin Rae coming back on stage with her acoustic guitar. Performing songs from their latest album, Crying, Laughing, Waving, Smiling, as well as older ones, SBD also performed a number of covers, as an homage to the artists that inspired the band’s sound and style. While the show ended on a melancholic note with a cover of Blaze Foley’s “Clay Pigeons,” you could faintly hear the crow singing along, bridging the gap between the artist and the crowd and allowing them to become one.

During the show, Jake told the crowd that there is no better feeling in the world than being able to jam out with your friends. Feeling inspired, I texted my friend after the show, eagerly awaiting our next jam session.