April 11, 2013

A Few Fond Farewells Part 1

“I see colors when I hear your voice.
Grab your wings, 
they're putting gravity on trial.”

-Synesthesia by Andrew McMahon

There are some things in this world that make me feel invincible, choke me up with tears every time, give me no choice but to believe that magic does exist. Andrew McMahon's music is one of those things. His beauteous songs have been setting soundtracks to my life for the better part of this millennium. I have to clutch my hands to my chest lest my heart flutter away. I almost don't want to try and explain my nirvana because most of the time it feels beyond comprehension.

I don't know what it is that draws me to him so much, but anyone who's ever been entranced by someone's art (who hasn't been?!) can undoubtedly relate. His poetic lyrics know where my soul lies, and the notes streaming from his hammers and strings are only more brilliant because of their simplicity. I'm unbelievably shocked that he isn't a big star with a wall of platinum records. He is the music world's best kept secret, and because of this secret I got to see him perform in a tiny club. Lucky me!

I've only seen him in concert once before though there were many other times I would have loved to see him. In April 2010, I met up with my brother at University of Pittsburgh where Jack's Mannequin played a free outdoors show. The scenery made the show. It was a sun-shiny day, the birds sang (along?), and the budding trees and flowers surrounded the stage. I could tell Andrew was in his element; his performance reflected the vibrant life surrounding us. This was one of the last amazing memories I made before the mold turned my life upside down, and I treasure it immensely.

This show was equally memorable but in a much different way. Fresh off of the amicable split of Jack's Mannequin, Andrew McMahon embarked on this solo tour to play music from both his Jack's days and his days in Something Corporate. He played some new music, too, with which unsurprisingly I fell immediately in love! It was a rare opportunity to hear songs that spanned his entire career!  

My dad joined my brother and I for this show. He was the oldest one in the crowd which balances out all the times my brother and I go to Yes concerts with him and are the youngest in the crowd! We weren't in an expansive environment like my last show but a small, intimate club. Because the stage was so low, I couldn't always see him well when he was sitting at the piano, but his vibrant energy that I became acquainted with at the show years ago enveloped the crowd. Some people just stood still as if frozen in time, but me? I fed off of his infectious energy, taking full advantage of a rare night out to dance, sing, and feel the music deep in my bones.

As I said, the last show was one of my last memories before falling ill. I like to think of this show as a memory I make during the turn-around of my health. The positive, buzzing energy that I carried home with me that night is one of several things right now that have the power to accelerate my progress in healing.Right now, I'm excited for the new chapter in Mr. Andrew McMahon's career! First up? He's releasing an EP on April 30 entitled The Pop Underground. He played 2 of the 4 songs at the concert (Synesthesia and Learn to Dance), and they rocked! 

Farewell, Jack's Mannequin. It's been fun!


  1. I *loved* Something Corporate in high school. I named a fish my bf at the time got me "Konstantine" after their song of the same name. I didn't know he had a solo career. Cool!

    1. When he played Konstantine for the encore, I think everyones jaw dropped to the floor for a good minute or two. It was such a surreal and beautiful moment. Do check out Andrew's music ASAP!