Friday, April 5, 2013


Excuse me as I fangirl all over myself.

Even though Something Corporate and Jack’s Mannequin have broken up, Andrew McMahon is still making music and touring. I was so excited to find out his first solo tour was bringing him to Milwaukee! This show was about a year in the making - Jack’s came through this time last year promoting their album People and Things and I really wanted to go, but I didn’t know enough of their new stuff to justify going, so I held off, though I did add a JM station to my Pandora mix. When I found out they were splitting up after the tour, I kicked myself for not going! Pandora introduced me to a lot of great songs, so I also added a SoCo station to get a little extra Andrew throughout the day. A month or so after the last Jack’s Mannequin show, Andy announced that he was going on a winter solo tour and working on new material. I was expecting to have to drive to Chicago to see him, but he scored a gig at the Turner Hall Ballroom in town! I bought tickets and made Daniel listen to Something Corporate and Jack’s Mannequin and made all sorts of plans to make sure we got a good spot for the show.

We left around 3:30pm and after making a stop at Firehouse, filling up Daniel’s car, and navigating the construction around our route, we made it to Turner Hall around 4:30pm. A little line had started, but it wasn’t too bad. We had blankets and lawn chairs and snacks and books, so we settled in to wait until doors opened at 6:30pm. The sun was out and it felt nice, but then it went down behind the Bradley Center and it got chilly. A little after 5pm, the owner opened the doors us and let us get inside out of the cold. We sat on the steps until 6:30pm, then rushed in and found spots right in front. There weren't any barriers and we were right up against the stage. We made friends with the people in line and we all stood together and that helped the time pass really quickly. The audience at this show was a lot different than others I've been to, these were serious Andrew McMahon fans (McMahon-iacs? I'm brilliant) and it was more of a total experience instead of just waiting to hear that one song you like (like when we saw Imagine Dragons and the girls behind us just wanted to hear It's Time). It was a different vibe and I liked it!

The show started with Erland Wanberg (yes, that’s really his name), a guy from Santa Barbara who had just put out his first album, produced by Andrew McMahon. I really liked the sound - it was a little bluesy, a little pop, an interesting mix. He had some family at the show so I think he showed off a little!

Barcelona was the second act, and apparently they’re kind of famous on the west coast. Their Wikipedia page says they listen to Coldplay, Copeland, and Death Cab for Cutie for inspiration, so I was expecting something cool and indie, but it was more...weird. It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t what I was expecting (like a drum pad or odd synthesizer stuff). They were funny though, and they had little stories about their songs in between.

And then it was Mr. McMahon’s turn. He walked on about 9:30pm, waved to the crowd, and sat down at the piano. Then he played...

Walking By (not my favorite, but it was a good opener)
The Mixed Tape (this song never, ever gets old)
She Paints Me Blue (we realized that he makes funny faces when holds vowel sounds)
Holiday from Real* (so darn catchy, I really wish I could find an edited version)
I Woke Up In A Car (my first taste of SoCo, probably my favorite of theirs)
Learn to Dance (This is a new song. It’s about getting back on your feet after you get knocked down.)
Swim (I’m kind of crazy about this song right now, seeing it live was fantastic)
Amy, I (Daniel asked if my life was complete after Swim and I said yes and then this one started and I changed my mind)
Punk Rock Princess (he jump kicked off the piano and it was awesome)
What Gets You Off (suggestive [but not explicit] subject matter. Okay, I have a really important question to ask you guys. Milwaukee, do you like sex?!)
Watch the Sky (another SC fave)
Synesthesia (another new one, and it’s already on iTunes)
The Resolution (Daniel knew most of this one and it was fun to jam with him)
Ruthless (I’ve heard this one a few times but don’t know it very well, so I just mouthed along like I was singing)
Bruised (this one was a little more mellow, I think in preparation for the finale and encore)
La La Lie (everyone just went bananas, the energy was incredible)
Konstantine* (People think I don’t like this song, but that’s not true. I love this song, it’s just really long.)
Dark Blue (I didn’t realize he hadn’t played this one yet until he started playing it. ...And then the water reached the Midwest...)
* = this song has naughty words, listen at your own risk
(I’m not responsible for the video quality, wrong lyrics, etc. I just tried to find the best audio)

I really wanted to meet Andrew after the show, but I wasn’t sure if he was coming out or not, so while security was trying to push everyone out, we got in line for the merch booth to waste some time. I bought a shirt that I really wanted, but it was sold out online, and Daniel met Erland Wanberg and bought his album. Then we walked out to where the tour bus was and waited in line for about 20 minutes before he came out. When it was my turn I said, “Hi, my name is Jenn. That show was amazing and I think you’re a beautiful man and I want to give you a hug.” And then he hugged me and said, “Thanks for coming out tonight, it was great to see you on the front row” and Daniel took a picture and that was it. Short and sweet and glorious.

Also, the last thing he said on stage was, “We’re playing Summerfest!” I don’t know all the details, but YAY! Definitely something to look forward to!


1 comment:

  1. Very cool! I really like SoCo and Jacks Mannequin as well but I'm not hip enough (like you) to know who actually is in the band, etc. Sounds like it was an awesome concert, those are some of my fav songs too- lots of good memories attached to some of those songs! So glad you had a chance to meet him; and how cool that he knew you were in the front row. Awesome!