Andrew McMahon is most known as the frontman and songwriter of Something Corporate and Jack’s Mannequin. After the end of Jack’s Mannequin, McMahon decided to release music under his own name. A few hours before doors opened, a thunderstorm hit Toronto, causing the some power outages, the subway to flood and stranding a train in the middle of the waters. It was a surprise to many that the show was not cancelled, but other than the fire alarm going off during sound check before the show, everything was fine: there was electricity and that’s all that mattered. Despite the conditions outside, fans of Andrew McMahon braved the weather and gathered at the Phoenix Concert Theatre on one July stormy night.
On tour with Andrew McMahon was Allen Stone, a R&B singer that put up such an energetic and charismatic performance that the audience demanded an encore. Allen Stone then grabbed an acoustic guitar and went on the platform off the stage and sang a cover of Ray LaMontagne’s “Let It Be Me.” It was an unexpected intimate performance and one mesmerized the audience.
I have seen Andrew McMahon performed as Jack’s Mannequin as few times, as well as the Something Corporate reunion tour. When he was performing as Jack’s Mannequin, fans wanted him to play Something Corporate songs. So I imagined that, when McMahon is performing as himself and his work, he could satisfy all the fans that he picked up on the journey, how silly of me — there were indeed too many good songs to choose from his corpus of work, and an hour-and-a-half set was not enough. Having been to a few Jack’s Mannequin shows, you get a feeling how the set was going to go. There were certain songs that you knew was going to be on the line up — like “Watch the Sky,” “Dark Blue,” “I’m Ready,” “Bruised,” “Holiday From Real,” “Swim,” “Punk Rock Princess,” “Cavanaugh Park.” McMahon also played two songs from his new EP, The Pop Underground and two songs from the final Jack’s Mannequin album, People and Things, “Amy, I” and “Release Me.” I know that you could never satisfy everyone, but I went in wanting to hear “21 and Invincible” (I turned 21 earlier the summer, so excuse me…) and “Restless Dreams.”
Before he began the encore, he said how he appreciated people keep hanging out, “I know I change my name a lot, but I think I’ll stick with this one for awhile,” and then he played “Konstantine,” which prompted a wave of camera phones to be raised accompanied by some “aahs!” Jack’s Mannequin fans would expected the last song to be “La La Lie” (it’s always the last song), which McMahon humorously introduced with a “Speaking of new songs, here’s a fucking old song!” There is no doubt that Andrew McMahon always puts on a great show regardless what band he was performing as. It was probably the smallest McMahon show I have seen him play, his ability to command the grand piano and engage the audience is a magical thing to witness.
Review and photography by Jessie Lau