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An Evening With Dan Mangan: Capitol Celebrates With Beloved Vancouver Songwriter

By Will Yannacoulias

Photo courtesy of Dan Mangan

As the Capitol Music Club continues to roll out their tenth anniversary celebration shows throughout the month of May, many show goers are eagerly anticipating an intimate solo set from iconic Vancouver singer-songwriter Dan Mangan announced for Friday May 17. NSMZ spoke with the two-time Juno winner at home, where he enthusiastically shared details about his latest single “Find New Ways”, reminisced fondly about playing Saskatoon over the years, and tipped his hand as to what’s in store for The Capitol next Friday. Enjoy!

One of Mangan’s hallmarks as a songwriter is his talent for exploring universally relatable human experiences from an unorthodox perspective. “Find New Ways”, his latest single released April 16, is written in the same style, as a love letter promising to haunt his wife after his death. “It’s a song that’s lived many lives” Mangan offered playfully. “I played it live for many years before recording it. I recorded a version of it on the last album (‘Long After’ on 2022’s Being Somewhere) that went so deeply into left field during the production of it that I felt I needed another crack at it.” The 2024 single version of the song is far more accessible, with Mangan leaning into a more traditional band arrangement and retaining the dark mood of the song while incorporating a jaunty shuffle that lends a lighter air. “It feels like a new song, I’m really glad to have this version out there” he said. “It’s a song that means a lot to me, very earnest and sweet.”

A constant performer who has extensively toured Canada in the last two decades, Mangan has played many times in Saskatoon and is looking forward to making his return on May 17. From

hole-in-the-wall taverns to historic theatres, from playing alongside acoustic singer-songwriters to the loudest hard rock bands, he has experienced the spectrum of what the city’s independent music scene has to offer and remembers it all fondly. “The first show I ever played in Saskatoon was at Lydia’s on Broadway” Mangan recalled. “After that I played a bunch of times at Amigos. I remember that at Amigos you’d soundcheck then go eat a massive burrito, which is probably not the best thing right before going onstage. I remember the start times were always super late, like the opening band would go on at 10 pm and we’d start at 11:30. Those shows felt very raucous and jubilant, standing on tables singing at 1:00 AM. I have fond memories playing there with Deep Dark Woods, Jen Lane, and of meeting The Sheepdogs early in their careers”

Mangan’s career began as a solitary singer/songwriter, armed only with his voice and an acoustic guitar. Over the course of five albums the arrangements and instrumentation of his songs have become more complex, experimental and ambitious, often with collaborations from other bold visionary Vancouver musicians. The May 17th show at the Capitol will see an interesting return to his roots, with Mangan taking the stage to perform an intimate solo acoustic set. Mangan described the atmosphere of these smaller performances, saying “with solo shows I don’t make a set list like I would with a band, instead I’ll write down most of the songs i know off the top of my head and a few that seem like they’d be interesting to play. I’ll play a handful of those then take just requests for the rest of the night. Play the songs people want to hear, tell stories, crack jokes- it feels more like hanging out with a big group of people, if that makes sense.”

A limited number of tickets for An Evening with Dan Mangan: A Capitol 10th Anniversary Show are still available. “Find New Ways” can be heard on all streaming services.

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