Columbus, OH, Lifestyles Community Pavilion, July 25, 2006

 

Written and photos by: Jason Perlman

 

Perhaps part of Jack's Mannequin's successful set ought to be given to the headliner, OAR. Why one may ask? Well, where all too often opening bands are given the task to fill a slot, OAR allowed Jack's Mannequin to perform a show, and the nearly 50 minutes Jack's Mannequin was given proved to be a worthy and worthwhile decision.

 

But credit should be given where credit is due, and Jack's Mannequin more than held its own opening for OAR, in front of OAR's hometown crowd, nonetheless. Vocalist Andrew McMahon has taken one step away from Something Corporate and became more organic in his sound to allow Jack's Mannequin to be more than a side project. The organic sound of Jack's Mannequin has allowed the band to grow naturally, and although when a rumbling of the CD Everything In Transit was being discussed, it was in terms of Something Corporate comparisons.

 

Since leaving high school, McMahon has known nothing but writing and recording, so it was somewhat surprising that McMahon still showed so much growth with Jack's Mannequin. Although sometimes simplistic in sound, McMahon has very intricate and delicate layers and thought processes both in lyrics and sound. And as the live band broke into I'm Ready, there was little doubt just minutes in that McMahon and the band were able to bring those themes and fragile progressions to life.

 

As the band blistered through Bruised, it was when it hit Kill the Messenger that the crowd, both former followers and now newly won-over fans were putting nearly as much energy in the show that McMahon and the rest of the crew were.

 

For those who knew McMahon from Something Corporate, the success of Jack's is almost bittersweet, as the more success Jack's Mannequin garners, the less chance fans feel a new SoCo record will be released. Although McMahon says more SoCo is on the way, those pessimistic fans still took part in enjoying the new McMahon project and easily associated to his relatable lyrics.

 

Although The Mixed Tape is getting much attention, both because it is the single and because One Tree Hill definitely loved its use of the song, it is songs such as Holiday from Real and Dark Blue that really show McMahon's level of talent and understanding.

 

Much of Jack's Mannequin and McMahon's success has been is overwhelming achievement in writing complicated lyrics that are simply understood and put in everyday situations. McMahon's relatable personality and music were just as relevant live, as by the time the band cracked into American Girl, almost every OAR fan was becoming a Jack's Mannequin fan as well. But that metamorphosis took two things, time and talent. OAR gave Jack's Mannequin the time to win the fans over, but McMahon and his band used their talent and simple complexity to actually sway a group of people to move off the fence and onto their side.

And each time McMahon would stand up from his piano bench as he felt his music move him, the crowd got louder and louder to when the set was over, it left little doubt that when Jack's Mannequin headline their next tour this Fall, the Columbus show should include a large number of OAR fans who jumped the fence and became fans.

Andrew McMahon
Andrew McMahon
Bobby "Raw" Anderson
Andrew McMahon
Jay McMillan
Jon "Dr. J" Sullivan