On March 13, indie folk troubadour Dan Mangan and his band of merry men were scheduled to perform a show at the Danforth Music Hall in Toronto, but after escalating concerns surrounding the spread of COVID-19 they, like everyone else, were forced to cancel the show.
Leading by example but determined to let the show go on, Mangan instead recorded his set and premiered it on YouTube for all of his fans to enjoy.
“Rather than just tear down our gear from our show the night before, we decided to play a show to nobody and document it,” Mangan said.
Starting in front of an empty room, Mangan performs a wholesome, heartwarming set of six tracks that kicks off with “About As Helpful As You Can Be Without Being Any Help At All,” the first track from his 2011 album, Oh Fortune.
There’s a beautiful intimacy felt throughout the performance that is heightened when the acoustics of the band’s handclaps on the song “Sold” fill the empty room, creating a unique and fitting effect.
Reminding everyone that we’re all in this together while encouraging social distancing while quarantined during these strange and uncertain times, Mangan moves his band to the floor of the Danforth, closing his set with a haunting rendition of “So Much For Everyone.”
Right before the lights go out after the song has ended, Mangan lets out mildly uncomfortable laugh and says, “Cool.” With the entire world doing their part to soften the curve and cope with the harsh realities of self isolation, this concert was indeed cool and undoubtedly will be one of many positive examples of showmanship that we start seeing pop up during this time of crisis.