Andrew McMahon’s work in Something Corporate was nothing short of fantastic and as he ventured into his solo project Jack’s Mannequin, fans were able to further understand the brilliant mind of this SoCal native. Now with his new summer tour with Lady Danville and Steel Train, he is bringing back a lot of his older work from Everything in Transit to his recent second full length album The Glass Passenger.
June 14th kicked off the summer tour and though you’d suspect the bands to be nervous for their first day, none of them seemed to be the slightest bit shaken. I actually saw Andrew McMahon walk his dog with his wife in the park right next to the theatre, and everyone who saw him was too nervous to talk to him. The show started at 7 but doors opened at 6:30 at The Majestic Ventura Theatre, and majestic it was. The Mediterranean theme added a lovely atmosphere that foreshadowed a great night to come.
The concert was general standing and fans swarmed towards the stage and just as things started getting rowdy the first band came out. Live Oak Revue was a guest at this performance, the drummer Brian Ireland was the drummer in Something Corporate and he and McMahon are still very good friends. The band has a folk rock sound to it and though not much energy was really presented on stage, their music made up for it. You could tell no one knew any of the words but everyone really enjoyed their music. In the second to last song, McMahon joined in on piano and had everyone screaming and yelling.
Up next was Lady Danville, a Los Angeles-based indie pop trio. I’ve heard recordings of their work and it was pretty good but didn’t really blow me away. As they started playing the energy in the room changed dramatically. The band was so engaging and just great to listen to, and the emotion they put in their songs just flooded through the room. Their music was so catchy that soon enough everyone just started singing along. They proved to be a great live band and a favorite of the night.
Steel Train was the last opening act to play and besides Jack’s Mannequin, the one I was most looking forward to seeing. This New Jersey indie rock band had the crowd pushing and shoving to the stage; there was apparently a lot more room than I thought. I really enjoyed the energy in their studio work and I was excited to see how they would be. First off, the sound at the venue totally failed for the band. Couldn’t understand the vocals between the guitar parts and everything just sounded like cluttered noise. On the other hand, the band had great energy and stage presence but it didn’t make up for the terrible sound. I was quite disappointed; it was a simple error from the sound guy that could have made the show much better.
Last but not least, the band of the night- Jack’s Mannequin. Frontman Andrew McMahon did take a little long to get on stage but as soon as the curtain opened up, none of the wait mattered. The energy of the audience changed once again to an excitement in the air that wasn’t present with the other bands and McMahon’s stage presence really got the crowd going. The night featured the band’s older work, songs like “The Mixed Tape” and “Holiday From Real” were some of the favorites of the night. They even played “Dark Blue,” which everyone in the audience sang together.
The Jack’s Mannequin summer tour is definitely a show worth seeing. Though some bands did have some technical difficulties, it was the first night of their national tour and I could only see it getting better and better with every show. Jack’s Mannequin continues to amaze their fans and nothing is better than knowing your favorite band is still as good as the first time you heard them.