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|I Am Skooter|
So here's us, on the raggedy edge.
To see an artist in their hometown is always a special thing. Playing at home in front of family and friends artists are at ease…more natural. Performances become more intimate because of the connections to the audience, usually a more established and obviously appreciative fan base.
Dan Mangan lives in Vancouver, and last night he played one of Vancouver’s premiere venues—the Vogue Theatre. Calling the night electric doesn’t do it justice. From the moment Dan took the stage, it was obvious that he was right where he belonged.
Opening with the uptempo Sold from last year’s Nice, Nice, Very Nice got the crowd started quite nicely. A more straightforward and rocking song than much of the material from the album, it was followed closely by Road Regrets, a song which has ended forever the debate over the age old question “What’s the best rock and roll road trip song?”
Most of Nice, Nice, Very Nice was played throughout the night, with Dan playing the occasional number solo on stage. About half way through the show he was joined on stage by Ivan E. Coyote who told a love story—her version of it at least—interspersed with verses from Pine for the Cedars. I saw Dan and Ivan at the Anza Club last year and it was one of the most interesting live events I’d attended. The crowd at the Vogue was more raucous than that intimate show, but no less appreciative.
Dan also played two new songs during the night: one inspired by travels through the small and dwindling towns of North Ontario which seems likely to be titled Oh Fortune; the other I can’t recall.
As the night went on and the clock approached the curfew time of 11:00, Dan left the stage and came down into the audience. Initially joined—tentatively, it should be noted—by two younger girls he was quickly surrounded and overwhelmed by an adoring fan base that rushed the stage (something I’ve never seen happen at many Vogue shows.) Playing from the audience floor for almost an entire number, Dan clambered back on stage at last. I half expected him to do a bit of Peter Gabriel Lay Your Hands on Me style crowd surfing.
Reliable crowd pleaser Robots followed, with the crowd staying at the foot of the stage for the inevitable sing-along chorus of “Robots need love too” , ending the first part of the show at about 10:30. An encore followed, naturally, including the quieter and more contemplative So Much for Everyone from Dan’s first full length album Postcards and Daydreaming. Accompanied by the crowd—dubbed by Dan as the Granville Street Choir—the night came to a quieter close, followed by another round of raucous applause until the house lights went up.
Seeing an artist in their hometown is always special. When it’s an artist with the immense talent that Dan Mangan has, it’s not just special—it’s magic.
A larger selection of photos from the show is on Flickr.