The House of Blues crew wheeled the keyboard onto the stage, and the crowd went wild.

When the lights dimmed and the shadowy band members walked out onto the stage to their instruments. The crowd needed no introduction to be whipped into a frenzy, with the pit in front of the stage churning and men bending their bodies over the balcony to cheer closer to the band. The lights flashed on and the cheers almost drowned out the first lines of Jack’s Mannequin’s opening song, “Crashin.'”

“I want to hear some music.”

That’s what the audience got: an hour and a half full of music.

Opener Matt Nathanson said it best at the April 27 show in Boston when he told the audience he was the fluff to get them ready for Andrew McMahon and the rest of the band members of Jack’s Mannequin to make love to them.

“People kind of go apeshit during [the songs] and that’s always kind of fun to see people reacting on that level to anything” said singer and keyboardist Andrew McMahon in an interview with Blast.

McMahon’s crooning into the microphone and stroking the keyboard keys was as close to making love to his audience as he could in such circumstances. The heart of the pit below the stage beat along in tempo with the speed McMahon led his fingers across the keyboard as the audience danced along to the music, getting more excited with faster songs and more relaxed with ballads like “Hammers and Strings.”

This was Jack’s Mannequin’s first performance at the new Boston House of Blues. The original Cambridge House of Blues was the first Boston venue McMahon played at when he started touring with his Something Corporate in 2002.

Boston was the 19th stop on Jack’s Mannequin’s current headlining tour promoting a new album The Glass Passenger which was released last fall.

The Glass Passenger is the long-anticipated follow-up to 2005’s Everything In Transit. Back then, Jack’s Mannequin was just McMahon’s side-project to Something Corporate. But when he was diagnosed with leukemia in 2005, McMahon said it was the music in Everything in Transit that helped pull him through illness into recovery.

“It was a pretty painful and hard time to do this but the underlining current was just: “ËœMusic will pull you through. This music is going to stay no matter what'” McMahon said. “Obviously everything that transpired during the finishing and release of that record with me getting sick and all the bizarre references throughout the album to hospitals and doctors and sort of this bizarre foreshadowing that existed throughout that record, it was hard not to feel like I was writing my death in that album.”

The Glass Passenger is markedly more mature than the previous music McMahon has written. McMahon started writing the music and lyrics for The Glass Passenger when he was on tour for Everything in Transit following his recovery. The songs speak about his illness but also about his recovery and his need to move on with his life. Lyrics from songs like “The Resolution” show his desire to enjoy his life since he regained it: “Yeah I’m alive/But I don’t need a witness/To know that I’ve survived/I’m not looking for forgiveness/Yeah I just need life/I’ll be lying in the dark/As I search for the resolution.”

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About The Author

Terri Schwartz was a Blast Contributing Editor from 2008-2009.

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