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Dan Mangan Setlist - Nov. 9 In Vancouver

Dan Mangan just finished a cross Canada tour, with rsupport from The Rural Alberta Advantage. rVancouver, Mangan's hometown, was the tour's final rstop, and it proved to be the biggest and most rspecial of the entire tour. He played an rabsolutely massive set, opening with a new song rand including all the fan-favourites, not to rmention many lesser known cuts. I saw him play rRifflandia in Victoria rin September, and while rnothing quite beats a warm summer festival set, rthis night was something else entirely.
1Dan Mangan
We Want To Be Pleasantly Surprised, Not Expectedly Let Down

For those who have not seen him before, Dan Mangan's band is an 7-piece including an electric guitar, a violin, a keyboard, a drum kit, a trumpet, a bass, and himself on acoustic guitar and vocals. The band opened with a loud, bombastic jam, and then segued into the new single from the Radicals 7" It was not a song that the crowd knew, but it made sense that he would open with a new song.
2About As Helpful As You Can Be Without Being Any Help At All

He then began his main set (he opened with these next few songs when I saw him two months ago). This is the opener from his most recent LP, 2011's Oh Fortune.
3Oh Fortune

the crowd loved this a bit more than I thought they would. It's not one of the best tracks on Oh Fortune, but it was released for free download as a teaser for the LP, so maybe that's why so many people knew it so well.
4Sold

A fan favourite from his 2009 classic Nice, Nice, Very Nice. Strangely upbeat while still pessimistic, great tune.
5Leaves, Trees, Forest

He explained what this song was about before playing it and it gave me a new appreciation for it. He said that something that is small can seem big if it's all you focus on. When your life revolves around something, no matter how tiny, it becomes massive from your viewpoint. We need to step back and see the bigger picture more often.
6If I Am Dead

"A nice happy number about death"
7Post-War Blues

"oh let's start a war for the kids, a purpose for which to unite..."
8Basket

one of the greatest songs ever written. if you disagree, you haven't heard this song.
9Starts With Them, Ends With Us

He did this last time I saw him as well, and I fucking love it: Basket is my favourite from Nice, Nice, Very Nice, and this one is my favourite from Oh Fortune. The part where the entire band drops out and it builds back up again from just Dan's voice and guitar to the epic, swelling climax with the soaring trumpet line. Such an immense live song, goosebumps every time.
10Road Regrets

The opener from Nice, Nice, Very Nice. I was really glad he played this.
11How Darwinian

"people don't know what they want, they just know they really want it"
12Robots

The fan-favourite, primarily due to the catchy chorus of "robots needs love too, they want to be loved by you...." which gets extended into a five-minute singalong in a live setting. It was at this point that we rushed the stage (the venue was an indoor theatre with assigned seating). It was great to see this live again, but it was nowhere near as magical as it was when Dan closed his Rifflandia set with it, and brought a girl with a cardboard robot head on stage for a dance. Luckily Dan had another bullet in the chamber. I didn't think he could top Rifflandia, but the end of his set on Friday was nothing short of transcendent; stay tuned.
13Rows of Houses

guitar solooooooooooooo
14Regarding Death and Dying

transitional piece which means I got to hear.......
15Jeopardy

The massive closer from his 2011 LP. He didn't play this at Rifflandia so I was loving being right up at the stage for this performance. A great way to close the main set.
16Encore


One of the greatest encores I've ever seen.
17Dan Mangan
The Indie Queens Are Waiting

"bus down to the local record store, buy something to make you like me more..."
18Tina's Glorious Comeback

another of Mangan's great songs that went unplayed at Rifflandia. It was amazing to see this live.
19Fair Verona

He had the crowd choose between this and Journals of a Narcoleptic (I would have rather heard Journals...), but before the vote he recounted seeing Radiohead years ago, and for their second encore the crowd had to pick between Paranoid Android and Idioteque. They played Android and he was pissed that he never got to hear Idioteque... it was a fun story haha
20So Much For Everyone

One of my great concert experiences, and a totally unexpected one. This fairly unknown number from his fairly underrated first LP was Dan's final gift to his hometown audience. He taught us all a vocal melody that we would eventually need to sing, then put his guitar down and came into the audience. He stood on a chair in the middle of the floor while his band slowly built it up. He began singing, but took a break to say this (I'm paraphrasing): "guys I'm a big fan of the internet, I'm always watching live music videos on youtube, and I love it. But what I love even more is the idea of something happening just once, never able to be re- experienced in any way. So please, I'm asking you to put the phones and cameras down, and just focus on enjoying this moment and the music." Everyone who was filming the sure to be majestic set closer obliged, and the crowd applauded loudly. Dan then resumed singing, and soon brought in the audience's vocals melody. The theatre filled with the booming sound of thousands of voices. As the song continued to build, up and up, the audience got louder, until eventually we were all awash in a sea of beautiful noise. It was transcendent, other-worldly, therapeutic, life-affirming, and everything else that a top-tier concert should be. We sang for close to ten minutes but it flew by in the blink of an eye. With one final flourish from his band, Dan returned to the stage for the last round of gang vocals. Long after the final applause had died down and the band had left the stage, the room still felt alive with the sound of thousands of music fans, sharing a once-in-a- lifetime, utterly indescribable moment. Dan Mangan has, over the past year, cemented himself as one of my favourite artists. I will never forget that set; it was absolutely perfect.
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