The Andrew McMahon who graced the House of Blues was a clearly older and more contained McMahon than earlier incarnations. His hair was thinner — he wouldn’t be able to sport the classic black fohawk from Everything in Transit days — and though he went wild on the stage, knocking over his stool innumerable times and jumping on his piano twice to pound the keys with his feet, his actions on stage felt controlled and preordained.
“Now I’m 26, I’ll be 27 in the summer,” said McMahon. “I write songs from the perspective of a 26 year old now, not a 16 year old.”
McMahon said Jack’s Mannequin is unquestionably his main focus. He’s been “pretty much breathing it” for several years. But when Jack’s played “Me And The Moon” from Something Corporate’s 2003 album “North” the audience went wild and sang along, showing the undeniable carry-over of fans from the “Corporate” days.
During a quieter segment of the show, McMahon came to the piano alone to play ballad “Hammers and Strings” a song he wrote about his relationship with his piano. Before he even introduced the song as being dedicated to an old friend, a chant from around the club for “Konstantine” an eight minute long ballad from early Something Corporate days, had begun.
“It’s a song about an old friend — but not the one you think, so you can stop asking for it” McMahon told the audience before playing the intro chords for “Hammers and Strings.”
“Konstantine” is about McMahon’s ex-girlfriend Krystal and is iconically Something Corporate. Though he claims “Konstatine” deserves “it’s own band name [...] it’s own zip code,” it is unquestionably one of the band’s most beloved songs.
McMahon has not played “Konstantine” with Jack’s Mannequin and said it is unlikely that he ever will.
“If I ever play it, I’ll have to play it forever, every night” said McMahon. “If it weren’t such a big deal for me to play “ËœKonstantine’ then I probably would play it. But the truth is, as soon as I bring that song out one time, I will never be able to walk through a venue, no matter what band I’m playing with or no matter where I’m at, and not have people chant and cheer for it.”
The show ended the way most Jack’s Mannequin shows do: a triumphant finale, the crowd cheering as the lights stay dim, and the band returning for a two-song encore. You’d think Jack’s performances are almost formulaic and scripted by this point, but this experience felt just as fresh and exhilarating as every other.
Guitarist Bobby “Raw” Anderson spent time throwing his collection of guitar pics out into the audience as souvenirs, and McMahon threw the set-list for the show out for one lucky fan to take home.
Hands shot up from the audience to grasp for the tattered piece of paper as it flew through the air, and when the lucky recipient walked out of the club, she could be overheard mentioning it had been torn.
Still, she clasped it to her chest — right over her heart — and left the club.
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