June 06, 2012

Reviewed: Dan Mangan and Blind Pilot

Wesbter Hall, New York, NY

While Blind Pilot may have headlined the show last night at Webster Hall, I attended to see Dan Mangan, the Canadian folk crooner behind one of the best albums of 2011, Oh Fortune. Facing a lukewarm crowd without his usual band behind him, Mangan had a difficult task to win over the audience. But he was up for it. He adapted most of Oh Fortune for one guitar (quite a feat considering how full of activity that album is), and it worked in his favor. Quieting all the background made his voice (one of the best in the biz in my opinion) stand out more. The quiver in his voice was audible with only soft strums behind it. Quite a few times during the show he reminded me a great deal of Glen Hansard. And that is one of the highest compliments I can give a singer. Most of his songs translated very well into slower, gentler, acoustic versions, especially "Sold," an emotional track about growing old from his 2010 album, Nice, Nice, Very Nice. While Blind Pilot put on a nice performance, it was almost boringly straightforward, devoid of risks. Mangan on the other hand, laid all his cards out on the table, putting himself at the mercy of the audience, and he knocked it out of the park. Check out his tour dates below.

June 5 - New York, NY - Webster Hall w/ Blind Pilot (playing solo) 
June 6 - Richmond, VA - The National w/ Blind Pilot (playing solo)
June 7 - Charlotte, NC - Neighborhood Theatre w/ Blind Pilot (playing solo)
June 16 - Toronto, ON - Luminato @ Pecaut Square w/ Kathleen Edwards 
June 21 - Telluride, CO - Telluride Bluegrass Festival 
June 21 - Telluride, CO - Fly Me To The Moon Saloon 
June 23 - Banff, AB - Banff Centre w/ Sam Roberts 
July 8 - Kelowna, BC - Keloha Festival 
July 11 - Quebec City, QC - Festival D'ete de Quebec w/ Great Lake Swimmers & Katie Moore 
July 13 - Vancouver, BC - Vancouver Folk Music Festival
July 27 - Calgary, AB - Calgary Folk Festival
Aug 5 - Montreal, QC - Osheaga Music and Arts Festival
Aug 7 - Stuttgart, GE - Schoken
Aug 8 - Sibnik, CR - Terraneo Festival w/ The XX, The Roots, tUnE-yArDs, Stephen Malkmus
Aug 10 - Rees, GE - Haldern Pop Festival
Aug 11 - Bad Windsheim, GE - Weinturm Openair
Aug 12 - Dudingen, CH - Bad Bonn
Aug 13 - Zurich, CH - El Lokal
Aug 17 - Leicester, UK - Summer Sundae Festival
Aug 19 - Groningen, NE - Noorderzon Festival
Sep 13 - Victoria, BC - Rifflandia Festival


Alex said...

Have to disagree here. I thought Blind Pilot rocked it while Mangan struggled to keep the crowd's attention. Granted, he was an opener, but his overly dramatic, depressing ballads didn't do much for me. To each their own though.

Adryanne said...

I was also at the show to see Dan. I agree he did really well without any backup. Alex, if you thought his songs were ballads - go listen to the album versions with the whole band. Very different take on it.

A comparison to Glen Hansard is quite an honor indeed, Jonah!

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