Friday, March 22, 2013

ALL HAIL THE GARAGE BAND KING: ANDREW MCMAHON AT THE OBSERVATORY

Last night one of the OC's favorite sons, Andrew McMahon, took the stage of The Observatory as part of his new solo tour since wrapping his Jack's Mannequin project late last year. There are a number of good musicians around today, and even some great ones, but there are only a handful that exude an unspeakable magic every time they hit the stage. McMahon is one such magic man.

Andrew both writes and performs with a depth of both thought and feeling that is a genuine joy to experience. Seeing him play in Orange County is always a special treat, since he tends to have some special memory of just about every venue, whether it's where his high school prom was held, or in this case grad night, back when The Observatory was still The Galaxy.

The great thing about this solo incarnation is that we get the best of both worlds, with Something Corporate songs, Jacks Mannequin songs, and the new solo material all being addressed in one magical evening. With such a deep catalog to draw from, the sets on this tour do seem to vary a bit from show to show, adding to the excitement of catching multiple opportunities to see him play. While the crowd seemed quite receptive to the new material, especially "Learn To Dance", it was the SOCO oldies that seemed to draw the most explosive reception from the boisterously singing along crowd. A last minute substitution of "Punk Rock Princess" in place of the previously planned (according to the set list)"Watch The Sky" was a special and unexpected surprise.  

Andrew seems to be making up for all the Jack's Mannequin years when he wouldn't play Konstantine, despite huge fan demand, by making it an encore number for a number of these shows. The tour rolls back to LA in May at The Troubadour, but this show is already sold out. If you have the opportunity to catch Andrew in any of the other cities on this tour you will delight in the greatest hits nature of this show. Andrew will also be hitting the road with O.A.R. later this year, but the makeup of the set list may change a bit as this will be after the new album is out, so a greater amount of new material may be included. In either case, Andrew McMahon live is always an amazing experience you would be well advised to take advantage of.

photos by Ashlei Brittany



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