There is something to be said about a man who has fronted two successful touring bands signed to major labels. Andrew McMahon is the man- and if you were at The Roseland for this show…you would have heard a group of drunken dudes yelling exactly that through every song Jack’s Mannequin played. While the crowd was great, the bands were even better.
Lady Danville opened the show in “Where’s Waldo?” costumes and treated us to an impressive rendition of MGMT’s hit “Kids” with harmony so tight you could have cut the overtones with a butter knife. This being my first time hearing Lady Danville, I was impressed and left a fan. I was pulled in with their love-drenched lyrics and thrown against the bar with their choruses that I was singing along to by the second go around. Lady Danville ended the show with two of the members jumping into the crowd to “hide” while the third member took a picture. Lady Danville with their showmanship, technical ability and those damn knee-weakening harmonies, left this pop-punk and hip-hop junkie craving more Indie Pop-Rock, like a fat kid craves cake.
The meat of this piano driven rock sandwich was the radiantly cute and cheery Lenka with a glittery keytar in hand. You’ve heard her song “The Show,” literally everywhere. With 8+ commercial placements including but not limited to spots on multiple hit TV shows and an Apple commercial. Hello royalties! Lenka’s performance was solid and had the crowd watching her every move. “The Show” has been under my skin since 2008 apparently, which I didn’t realize until I was singing along with the whole venue. Lenka brought two gentlemen to the stage with her, one who switched between acoustic guitar and keys, and one who switched between trumpet, and keys. This gentleman’s back up synth work, his trumpet playing and not to mention his royal beard- was what made Lenka’s set memorable for me. I believe the whole venue agreed because after a fantastic solo the crowd roared with applause. I now know what to expect from Lenka, and I don’t think I’ll ever be disappointed. Catchy, inspiring pop music, fronted by a charming gal with an accent isn’t hard to love.
I have never seen Jack’s Mannequin. I have never seen Something Corporate. I wish I could have now, after seeing Andrew McMahon work the shit out of that piano bench. From the start of their set, to the lengthy departure from the stage, Andrew was going 110%. I have never been that big of a fan of Andrew’s bands, but after that night at the Roseland, I went home and dug up everything I could on this man. Jack’s Mannequin is a Pop Rock quartet, known for anthem choruses and driving verses, with lyrics that strike tongue and cheek on the surface, but drag you in kicking and screaming to look at your life in the mirror, analyzing your ambition on an ivory set of keys. I was impressed by Andrew- who would get up on top of his damn piano and jump off singing, all in all stealing the show. Everybody knew; even the group of people surrounding me in the balcony felt the need to assure Andrew McMahon that he was the man, multiple times; during and after songs. After having it yelled in my ear for an hour, and after watching that man do what he was damn well born to do, I to would like to say that Andrew?
You’re the man.
Check out the documentary, “Dear Jack,” about Andrew, his fight with Leukemia and the formation of Jack’s Mannequin, on Hulu.com
Photos by Kimberly Lawson. More on Flickr
Words by Sean Smith.