So any of you following the fuzzbabe may have seen my previous reviews on Dan – my man – Mangan. This weekend part of the fuzzgang attended the 35th annual Vancouver Folk Festival. It was for us the first time – and won’t be the last time – but as with all firsts – it is always a learning experience. Being our first park type festival we learned a lot about ‘how things are done here in Canada’. There were some very positive learnings – like the free water stands and high focus on recycling to keep the ground clean. And there were some not so positive learnings – like to drink a beer you need to stand in a caged area that is no where near close to the stage and if you aren’t early you are just never getting in.
But enough of that and back to the music. It was a great weekend of great artists and something for everyone. The park was full of a wonderful mix of people ranging from young families right through to the seniors who flashed their seniors discount cards. The sun was shining (the first two days at least) and there were smiles all around.
Highlight of the whole weekend for the fuzzbabe was of course the Dan Mangan – and his 9 piece band – performance on the Friday night at sunset. We had tiptoed through the maze of blankets to find a small unclaimed spot close to the stage – our bums fit nicely into it. We looked around and were filled with bliss – the sun had set and the sky was still holding some light – the outline of the North Shore mountains was beautiful and we were surrounded by friendly people. Life in Canada – so orderly it is pleasant but yet borderline boring. Then came out Grant Lawrence from CBC Radio 3 to give away a few free shirts before introducing Vancouvers very own: Dan Mangan.
Now having had the pleasure of seeing Dan perform in the small room of the Paradiso in Amsterdam I was open to this new outdoor experience but somehow already knew that he could not do better than the small intimate space of the Paradiso. The concert Friday night by Dan was good – not great. At times it sounded as he was nervous amongst his trusted hometown crowd – of perhaps he just did not want to disappoint. To be clear he wasn’t bad – there was just a less of a connection with the audience than i had seen before. The set they played was fantastic – a pity that he ran out of time due to the strict curfew that was enforced causing them to drop playing Row of Houses. But he did play a few other toppers – there are a few video’s here below for your viewing pleasure – but first up it my ultimate Dan Mangan song. When he played this one in Amsterdam at the Paradiso he also went out into the center of the audience. ‘So Much for Everyone’ is a classic with poetic words that pull at your heart and allows for full audience participation to create together a true music moment. I hope you enjoy the videos – and the fuzzbabe tip is to ensure you see him for yourself live the next time he rolls through your town.