I’ve been a Dan Mangan fan since 2009 when I heard first heard the song “Robots”. The sweet-beard-faced Vancouver boy with a voice like rusty angels and lyrics that mix humour and heart managed to convince me that “robots need love too” and I was hooked.
I sang along every time one of his songs was played on 100.5 The Peak, the kickass radio station I listen to at work (listen online at thepeak.fm).
I listened to his album, “Nice, Nice, Very Nice” in my rocking chair in my old apartment many times, or in bed when I wasn’t feeling well. The music lulled me and I thought to myself, “Here is a young Canadian artist I like as much as Hawksley Workman. Possibly more.” Which doesn’t happen very often.
I saw Mr. Mangan in concert last November at the Vogue in Vancouver and was struck by what a warm, talented, and gracious performer he was. His audience loved him and he loved us and even though I was not having a great autumn I had a great evening.
Then I began to feel like I was hearing his music on the radio TOO much. I would hear the opening chords to “Road Regrets” and sigh to myself. I began to lose faith in Mr. Mangan, and wondered if he would ever light my fire again.
Then the Peak began to play a song from his new album, “Oh Fortune”. I realized that I enjoyed humming along. I thought to myself, “I suppose I’d be interested in seeing him in concert again. He was quite delightful.”
THEN the Peak said that they were having a FREE secret show with Dan Mangan on Saturday, September 24 and all I needed to do to find out the exact time and location (which would be revealed two hours before the show began) was either follow their Facebook or Twitter pages, or sign up to be a Peak VIP. I was already doing all of those things!!! PERFECT.
Turns out, Dan Mangan was performing in the Olympic Village at 1:00 pm that day. Holy banana, TC and I could ride our bikes there! So that’s what we did. And it was great. Dan Mangan is just as talented and just as gracious as I remember him. He made sure to introduce his band mates and also mention the other musical projects they were working on. His voice is, if possible, even stronger live than it is recorded. And even though I wasn’t able to sing along because I didn’t know all of it yet, his new stuff sounds lovely (“Oh Fortune” was released yesterday, BTW). And don’t worry, he played all the oldies but goodies from “Nice, Nice, Very Nice” too and I bopped the afternoon away.
Mr. Mangan kindly made my day awesomely complete and neatly bookended my Dan Mangan experience to date by finishing up with “Robots”. Nice man that he is, he noticed that two girls standing at the back had made elaborate robot costumes and he invited them to join him onstage, so they did.
This concert was simply a wonderful way to welcome the autumn on one of Vancouver’s last mild Saturdays. “Secret shows” like this help to cultivate what I think both 100.5 the Peak FM and artists like Dan Mangan are going for: a community of fans that simply love Vancouver, good music, and sharing these loves with one another.