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On a warm Friday afternoon, Andrew McMahon headed into Midtown’s City Winery to play a handful of Jack’s Mannequin songs acoustic in front of a private audience. I was seated for lunch at the lovely restaurant around 12PM, ordered a glass of wine, and waited until McMahon came on stage near 12:30. Mixing up a set of old favorites, new songs, and even a cover of New York’s MGMT, McMahon sounded great. The full set:
The Mixed Tape
Hammers and Strings (A Lullaby)
La La Lie
Kids (MGMT cover)
Even without the rest of the band, the songs sounded big; a few hitches aside (an improvised “La La Lie” solo fell apart), the performance was near perfect and showcased exactly why McMahon is one of the strongest pop songwriters alive. I spoke briefly with McMahon after the set; we discussed his first tour, which I caught in Philadelphia before he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Sparked by the news that Jack’s Mannequin recently played the Something Corporate b-side “Watch the Sky” for the first time, I let Andrew know that my iPod was filled with his b-sides, acquired illegally. Without hesitation he smiled, put his arm around me, and said “as long as you’re listening, man”. He then signed my iPod, signing off that he was okay with that fact–not too surprising, since he angered his own record label by releasing a holiday EP for free on his website a few years back.
Jack’s Mannequin will open for The Fray in New Jersey at the PNC Bank Arts Center later tonight. The show is not yet sold out, and lawn tickets can be acquired from LiveNation’s website for about $25. Black and white photograph of Andrew McMahon is courtesy of the lovely Sara Brodster, who provides many pictures to inTuneMusic.