Live Review: Dan Mangan at Myer Horowitz Theatre

Vancouver folk rocker Dan Mangan was in Edmonton on Tuesday night playing a sold-out show at the Myer Horowitz Theatre. He was performing on his “Peculiar Travel Suggestion Tour” during which he will be performing in the four western provinces. I was introduced to Dan Mangan’s music relatively recently, but I am already a huge fan and he definitely didn’t disappoint when I first saw him live!

Opening for Dan were two bands; The Crackling and The Burning Hell. The Crackling is a new project created by three people who also play in Dan Mangan’s band. The lead singer plays the drums in Mangan’s band so during The Crackling’s concert he switched it around and brought out Dan Mangan to play drums for him. And from my seat, he sounded pretty good!

The Burning Hell was quite different musically, and was in fact very comedic. During the show lead singer Mathias Kom said that they had once been compared to Moxy Fruvous. I would agree but would also say that they were similar to Geoff Berner but with a ukulele instead of an accordion.

Going into Dan Mangan’s performance my friend had said that she wanted to hear three songs of his; "Sold," "Basket" and "Robots". Well, Dan Mangan must have read our minds as he played all three of those songs and many more excellent tunes. He played an inspiring live show that included some great trumpet playing and an awesome acoustic performance of "So Much for Everyone" at the end of his show.

What I liked about this concert was that each of the three musical acts got everybody in the audience participating. Each one of them had the spectators singing along in at least one song, whether it was just a few words or a whole chorus. For me the best part was when Dan Mangan played his song "Robots" and had a whole bunch of people from the audience come up on stage to play, sing and dance with him. Then of course the whole audience also sang along to the chorus of “robots need love too.”

Another thing that I noticed was that each band talked about how welcoming Edmonton is for performers and musicians. Dan Mangan spoke fondly of his last time performing in Edmonton at the Haven Social Club while he was sick with the flu. However he said that even though he had the flu, he wouldn’t want to be anywhere else! I know that all bands probably feel obliged to compliment the city that they are performing in, but these three bands seemed like they really meant it!

What really struck me while watching Dan Mangan on stage was that he really does seem nice, nice, very nice. So I think that he is definitely very deserving of all the popularity that he is getting. Last time he performed in Edmonton he played at the Haven Social Club, this time he played a sold out show at the Myer Horowitz, so where will he be performing next? Well, I’ll tell you one thing, I couldn’t think of a nicer guy to be playing a full house at the Winspear.

more in Music Review     |     posted Nov 20th, 2010 at 12:28am     

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