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Andrew McMahon at the Highline Ballroom


Through lyrics of a Jack’s Mannequin song, Andrew McMahon promised “if you left it up to me, every day would be a holiday from real.”  At his latest show at the Highline Ballroom, a holiday from real was exactly what he gave his audience. As the venue filled up, the anticipation of the fans was felt in the air, even during the incredible opening acts of Kate Earl and Erland Wanberg.  During this tour, appearing for the first time under his name instead of as the lead singer of Jack’s Mannequin or Something Corporate, Andrew McMahon blew the audience away. 
Although he performed several songs from his past bands’ work, he also took the chance to introduce his new material (being released under The Pop Underground EP on April 30th) to the public. He was vulnerable in a beautiful and courageous way. Stronger than ever, his musical spirit shined brighter than the neon lights that line the walls of the venue. In support of his new work, an audience member even took it upon themselves to write out a lyric from his most recent single, Synesthesia, on the sidewalk in front of the venue in pastel colored chalk: “I see colors when I hear your voice.”
And colors were seen from the moment Andrew opened his mouth. He made musical choices on stage that made the already well-written songs better- and new for well-versed Jacks Mannequin and Something Corporate fans. Already a personable artist, he made many unexpected choices on stage that increased the excitement of the show and drew the audience further into his performance. Jumping on and off of the piano (and playing the keys with his feet), interacting directly with members of the audience and crowd surfing across the hall were some of the many things that made it a memorable night- on top of the unforgettable live reproductions of his best musical work. Andrew is one of my favorite artists to see and hear live. It is clear that Andrew is only headed up from here and that the audience made it clear during the encore that they would have hung around all night to hear him play more (even after an hour and a half long show!) His fans, myself included, are anxiously awaiting the release of his new EP and the expansion of his musical vision in a new light, and under his own name.
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