Mike Mangione at Club Garibaldi

Mike Mangione (center) at Club Garibaldi in Bay View

I planned on dedicating a much deserved lengthy post on the Mike Mangione & The Union show at Club Garibaldi last Thursday, but I became deathly ill and it was a struggle to even leave the confines of my couch that night. It was even tougher to keep my head up the whole show because I felt so dizzy, but that’s not to take away from what was a truly memorable performance.

Club Garibaldi is not your average bar for live music. As you can see in the pic above, they have a legit stage, sound and lights system. It’s needed for Mangione to fit his five-piece band behind him, but I still couldn’t help but wonder how a band this talented, that creates such a well blended sound, is playing in a Bay View corner tap. It’s not everyday that you pay a tiny cover charge for live music at a bar and are greeted by a talented guitarist/frontman and a band boasting a guitar, upright bass, cello, violin and drum kit. It’s of my opinion that Mangione should be playing in venues double or triple the size of Club Garibaldi.

The intimate setting suits his style just fine however and those fortunate enough to brave the cold and take in his show enjoyed a set list featuring the majority of his most recognizable tunes like At Your Gate, Waiting For No One and It’s Me, Not You. It’s easy to see that Mangione is enjoying what he’s doing, with plenty of playful banter on stage with his brother, Tom, who plays the guitar. They didn’t just plod their way through a 45 minute set either, rather playing for nearly two hours. Believe me, it was six bucks well spent to hear some of the best acoustic/soul music in town.

Guilty omission that I grew up playing the drums, so that is always the instrument I pay the most attention to besides the front man at any show I attend. So I felt it necessary to point out how rock solid bassist John Collins was. I’m a sucker for a good bass line and Collins laid down a lot of them, keeping the whole arrangement together without being flashy, which to me, is the mark of a tremendous bassist.

Make sure to check out Mangione’s Website by clicking the link at either the top of this post or to the right in the “Bands/Musicians” area.

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