Andrew McMahon: A Review


Just a little disclaimer here, this review is biased. It is as biased as they come. This is like writing a review about your kid or your wife (because if this was a review about my imaginary husband, you bet your ass I would not sugar coat it). This review is glowing, because Andrew McMahon is a god damn saint and everything he touches turns to gold. GOLD I TELL YOU. Which technically would make him Midas, who wasn’t a saint, but whatever.

So, Andrew McMahon is one of my life heroes. I am a sucker for piano, but more so a sucker for beautiful lyrics and if there was someone who I would wish to be able to write like, it is this man. If you know me at all, you know that I practically lived on Something Corporate in my high school days. I was weird. I wore tube socks a lot. Not important for this post, but I just wanted you to know or be reminded of my awesome weirdness. Even though I don’t listen to SOCO nearly as much now as I did then (this needs to be rectified) I was transmitted right back to ten years ago with songs like Punk Rock Princess (piano style, which is apparently originally how the song was written), She Paints Me Blue, Straw Dog (which I can’t remember seeing before, but I am sure I did since it was a big song for the band and I saw them when they were still touring for North), Watch the Sky, Woke Up in a Car, and 21 and Invincible. You can’t not smile and dance when you hear these songs. Okay, you can but that probably means you suck as a person or do not possess the ability to do one or the other.

Now, Punk Rock Princess was pretty much my theme song back in the day. I was that girl. I still probably am. Judge me all you want, I am okay with it. I dyed my hair black, I have freakishly large eyes, and I was in to punk rock. I wanted my garage band king but he did not want me. Emo. Anyways, I had to record this song in its entirety, so hurr it is.

“If I could be your first real  heartache, I would do it over again”. God. It’s perfect. It was one of those shows that reminds you of why you love music in the first place. One of those that when you here each song it takes you back to exactly where you were and how you felt when you were listening. Fucking magical.

Now, I think there were actually more Jack’s Mannequin fans there. I switch back and forth to which I love more. But, they are actually probably equal because I just love Andrew. But people were singing more to the Jack’s song though and generally more pumped. However, I don’t really understand how you could be a fan of one without knowing of the other or being a fan of the other.  Either way, Andrew was on par. Duh. Songs included: Dark Blue, La La Lie (the last song, which is weird. I was hoping for Hurricane, but they didn’t play it at all. CON), Swim, Television, No Man is an Island (Not actually on a CD), Mixed Tape, Holiday from Real(considering this for a tattoo), Bruised (the opener), The Resolution, What Gets You Off.

And writing this I realized all the ones he didn’t do. Hurricane, Only Ashes, Amelia Jean, Amy I, I’M READY, Restless Dream (I would LOVE to have seen this one, but probably would have cried like a baby), and while I have seen all of these live at one point or another, I have yet to see Dear Jack and I would literally kill someone to see it. And when I say literally, I mean literally. (Okay, I don’t. I mean figuratively but god dammit do I love that jam).

The song I have a tattoo for…

And here is the thing about any show involving Andrew McMahon: people will always scream for Konstantine. And he is a classy dude so he usually just ignores it. But any interview he mentions that he won’t play the song. I’ve seen it. It’s good. But I’d give it up in a heart beat to hear two other songs (the song is 9 minutes). I’ve never been a super huge fan of it. But, true to form, he played it. Because it was his first official solo tour and he wanted to thank the fans. He also played two  new songs, and people often complain how bands change over time (Incubus, Linkin Park, etc.) but everything Andrew does sounds like Andrew, but in a new way. His new stuff is no exception. I loved it and I had never heard it before. Especially Synesthesia. THREE PART HARMONIES. I love them. They were perfect. Even better when they can pull it off live. This is the best quality I could pull from the internet and it doesn’t do it justice, but at about 4 minutes the music stops and the harmonies keep going.

I can’t wait to get this EP or album or whatever it is.

I will say one thing, he does have an ugly singing face, but I am pretty sure most people do and if it makes the sweet sounds come out of his mouth like they do, then I am okay with it. Also, he has a brilliant stage performance. He doesn’t talk too much, but enough to be personable and convey his personality. He is a funny dude. And he can not sit still. He has so much energy it is lovely. Even if no one else on the stage ever moves, all you have to do is watch him and it’s enough.

And of course he ended the show by standing on the piano and smashing the keys with his feet in true Andrew form. Ahhhh, I wish I was back there.

Also, the show was at Hawthorne Theater which is a tiny, hot little venue. It’s been a long time since I walked out needing to take a shower. I LOVED IT. And we saw about half of Barcelona’s set. They were pretty good, enough so that I plan on checking out their stuff so I won’t comment on it yet but you can look forward to it being on here later.

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