Devin Recommends: “Fool For Waiting” by Dan Mangan

Ok, maybe I should not have said it. I was going for a non-tropey version of wanting to bathe in it. I was going for something about how the way he sings just makes me feel good. What I actually said was I want to put my dick in his voice. Not in a weird way. This is the expression that fumbles out of my mouth while listening to “Fool For Waiting” to get amped for the show tomorrow night. My wife can never unhear it.

Fourth time. This is the charm. The first time he was here, tickets were only ten bucks. They’re more now, but it’s a fair upscale compared to the regret of missing each show until now. Now, I’m finally here. We walk towards the steepled building and see the congregation of fans all filing into the church with us. Moving away from the main entrance, the alcove of stairs leads us to a vantage point that puts us further away but makes it more intimate. It feels almost voyeuristic. But there’s no moment of “this is so personal, this is just for me, this is between me and him.” The sound is communal, and it makes it so very strong.

Looking down from the balcony into a sea of people, their faces darkened by the absence of phones that are kept tucked away into pockets. We all want this experience together. Dan brings us together. Everyone sitting on the edge of their creaky church pew, as if we are all slowly being pulled closer to the stage. There’s a gravity to his vocals. He speaks into the crowd as if we’ve been friends for years, and he’s just playing these songs instead of catching up with small talk. He thanks the girl in the front row for singing along so well. He pauses after every song to ask what we want to hear. He takes the time to be our storyteller and give us details of each song before the first chord strums out. The church creates an ethereal echo that keeps us rapt together. The softer songs are accompanied by our hesitant shifting in our seats. The louder songs allow us to become a choir of handclaps.

When Dan plays “Fool For Waiting” the audience is so still. It’s that voice. I fucking love it. I want to bathe in it. To pluck out that glowing orb of a beautiful voice as if I’m Ursula the sea-witch and tap it against the side of the tub letting it break apart spilling it’s glowing yolk, watching that glorious voice fill the basin before I sink myself into it. But there’s more to it. It’s not just this passive soak of prolonged fermatas and dulcet words. There’s an excitement to it. Like wading into the water as it reaches your thighs and you have to bear the threshold before you can swim. It’s refreshing when you get your head under the water.

We are all happily drowning.

(Song recommendation by Devin Matthews)

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