Concerts Concerts Going To Church With Dan Mangan

Going To Church With Dan Mangan

Dan Mangan at Trinity St. Paul's
Dan Mangan
Harbourcoats
Trinity St. Paul’s in Toronto, ON
October 20, 2010

Review by: Whitney Pineault
Photos by: Kayley Luftig

It took me a while to warm up to Dan Mangan. I just didn’t “get” what all the fuss was about. I would repeatedly hear how genuinely nice he was, how great and honest his music sounded, and yet it just didn’t seem to connect with me.

Dan Mangan

Then, one particularly slow day at work, I came across Dan’s website and randomly gave the song “Sold” another listen. Then another listen. And another. I was utterly baffled as to how I could have so easily dismissed this wonderful song, and the rest of Nice, Nice, Very Nice for that matter. It seemed very fitting that this would be the song Dan happened to open with for his inspiring sold-out set at Trinity St. Paul’s.

With a full band behind him, Dan appeared confident and had an incredibly charming disposition, which was especially noticeably while interacting with the band as well as the audience in between songs. The venue itself, with a modest capacity of just under 800 (most of which was balcony seating), allowed for an intimate atmosphere and unparalleled acoustics that complimented both up-tempo jams (“Some People”) and subtle ballads (“Fair Verona”).

Aside from playing material from Nice, Nice, Very Nice, Dan treated the audience to a great cover of Elliott Smith’s “Waltz #2 (XO)” which he admitted as being a recurring track on his soundtrack of the tour. He also debuted a number of brand new songs including one inspired by a VHS tape of Stand By Me as well as one so new that none of his other bandmates had even heard it yet. If they were any indication of what is to be expected for a future album, there is a lot to look forward to.

Not many songs out there have the ability to open the optical floodgates for me but something about “Basket” just kills me every time. Being able to hear that song live in such a perfect venue was a moment that I will not soon forget. The entire audience was completely silent and I’m sure just as awestruck as I was. However, that being said, let me assure you that was probably the only time during the show when I did not have a massive grin on my face. Dan is quite funny and what a riot it was when guitarist, Gord Grdina, took over the female vocalist part of “The Indie Queens Are Waiting.” It was impossible not to laugh (Dan included) at how well it actually worked out.

Words cannot do justice in describing the incredible performance of “So Much for Everyone” during the encore. Dan recruited the audience to sing along, just as he had done back in April at the Horseshoe. What resulted was the most spectacular sound imaginable. For the majority of the song, Dan stood at the edge of the stage without a mic while singing and directed the crowd. The church’s superb acoustics helped to perfectly blend each voice together creating a truly a special moment uniting audience and performer as one.

Dan Mangan at Trinity St. Paul's   Dan Mangan at Trinity St. Paul's   Dan Mangan at Trinity St. Paul's   Dan Mangan at Trinity St. Paul's   Dan Mangan at Trinity St. Paul's   Dan Mangan at Trinity St. Paul's   Dan Mangan at Trinity St. Paul's   Dan Mangan at Trinity St. Paul's   Dan Mangan at Trinity St. Paul's   Dan Mangan at Trinity St. Paul's  

Harbourcoats

Harbourcoats is Bryan Webb, best known as the raspy vocalist from The Constantines. Although I did not arrive in time to catch his set, the word on the street is that a Harbourcoats album has already been completed. 

Harbourcoats at Trinity St. Paul's   Harbourcoats at Trinity St. Paul's   Harbourcoats at Trinity St. Paul's   Harbourcoats at Trinity St. Paul's   Harbourcoats at Trinity St. Paul's   Harbourcoats at Trinity St. Paul's   Harbourcoats at Trinity St. Paul's