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A Revealing Two Hours with Andrew McMahon

October 20th, 2009

Andrew McMahon – The Bowery Ballroom – October 19, 2009

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Perhaps the best thing about a solo Andrew McMahon show is the plethora of material he has under his belt to play. As the only artist on The Bowery Ballroom bill, McMahon spent two hours playing songs from his Something Corporate days and from his time with Jack’s Mannequin, plus he did some covers. A truly gifted vocalist when it comes to heartfelt, emotional, storytelling songs, McMahon knows how to draw in his listeners and keep them hooked. And last night’s bare-bones live performance, in which his only accompaniment was his piano—and at times Jack’s Mannequin’s Bobby “Raw” Anderson on guitar—was the perfect venue for such a talent (and a great way for fans to hear the stories behind many of the songs).

McMahon told how the Jack’s Mannequin song “The Resolution” was about him owning up to a lot of shit, how someone at a previous show told him he didn’t have the range to sing “Moon River” from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, how the “blow, blow, blow (me away)” part from Something Corporate’s “Cavanaugh Park” can easily get stuck in one’s head, and even how his brother makes fun of him for crossing his legs like a girl. All received amused grumbles and laughs from the miked, half-seated audience. As for the songs, Jack’s Mannequin’s “Swim” and “Walking By” and Something Corporate’s “The Astronaut” and “Punk Rock Princess” garnered a warm crowd response. But the closer, “The Mixed Tape”—also a Jack’s Mannequin song—received the biggest audience sing-along of the set. —Kirsten Housel

Photos courtesy of Sean O’Kane | seanokanephoto.com