“When we all crossed the border we got totally giddy,” Dan Mangan said. 

After taking roughly six months between tours to record Oh Fortune, the packed Oct. 14 show at the Bronson Centre was the band’s first Canadian date since touring the US.

The openers, The Crackling, played a tasty combination of folk, playful piano and melodic “oohs and aahs,” while The Daredevil Christopher Wright followed up with a pop-rock set.

But nothing could compare to crowd’s excitement when Mangan and crew emerged, kicking off with one of Oh Fortune’s more quaint songs, “About As Helpful As You Can Be Without Being Any Help At All.”

Before playing “Basket,” Mangan said that unlike his grandparents, for which the song was dedicated to, he didn’t want to deteriorate in front of the TV till he died.

Mangan also told the audience he was happy the band could play some of their older songs, compared to other cities where the band was lesser known. The band’s encore, which included “Robots,” saw him bring up two audience members who fashioned robot helmets out of tinfoil.

“Going on stage with Dan Mangan was something nobody could prepare for. I think I had a stroke or something,” said 14-year-old William Zoren.

Mangan told concertgoers, “You sing like angels” and had them repeat the final chorus over, and over. Anybody in the room would have said the moment was magical.

“Sometimes a show can be greater than the whole of its parts. It’s not just the audience. It’s not just the band,” Mangan said. “It’s everything at the same time.”

— Photo courtesy of Lori Paulson