See this guy? This is Andrew McMahon. He’s wonderful. One of my favourite singer-songwriters ever. I’ve mentioned him before on this blog – twice, actually. Last night, I saw him for the fourth time – this means that I’ve seen him in all of his incarnations, from Something Corporate to Jack’s Mannequin, his solo show last summer (when I almost drowned – that’s a story for another day), and then finally as “Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness”.
Opening band Junior Prom had an American Authors-meets-Twenty One Pilots vibe (the TOP comparison might be made solely based on the fact that there were only two guys in the band). They were pretty upbeat and did a fine job getting the crowd ready for the next two bands.
Hunter Hunted seemed like a mishmash of other bands I listen to: sort of a non-synthesizer-using Bastille (Imagine Dragons?) and someone else that I can’t remember (I came up with a great comparison last night but foolishly didn’t write it down). Ro said Bombay Bicycle Club and she may be on to something.
Finally Andrew came out. When I go to an Andrew McMahon course, I expect a certain level of flawlessness, and he always delivers. This show included a combination of songs from his past bands, as well as songs off his latest release, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, which came out last month. One of my favourite, spine-tingling, moments was during “Cecilia and the Satellite” (the lead single off of AMITW), when the stage lights went off, plunging them into darkness, only to come back with full force during the post-chorus “oh”s. He also played a beautiful, slightly mellower version of one of his most famous (I mean, it was on One Tree Hill at one point!) Jack’s Mannequin songs, “The Mixed Tape”.
The original song.
His between-song banter was funny, occasionally lapsing into serious (like when he called out the people who had started a fight in the middle of the crowd), but above all, he sounded genuinely grateful that he had a room full of people who have faithfully followed his musical endeavors over the past 10+ years. And he made sure not to let down those die-hard fans, especially when he stomped on his piano and pulled out a harmonica for “La La Lie”.
Andrew McMahon is one of those musicians who can do no wrong in my book. He could release the worst song to ever exist, and I’d still listen to it on repeat for at least a week. Of course, it’s just not possible for him to release a bad song – even if the beat is mediocre, his words more than make up for it.