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Chasing The American Dream

June 04, 2006


Almost a year to the day, Andrew McMahon postponed the balance of his concert tour. He had good reason. He was diagnosed with acute lymphatic leukemia. Three months later, the lead singer and creative force of Something Corporate and his new band Jack's Mannequin had a bone marrow transplant and post-op battles with chemotherapy, radiation and pneumonia. Not your typical rock star profile who may have been saved by his sister who was a stem-cell match. Wow, turn the clock forward nine months and I find Andrew and his mates charging the outdoor set at Revolution looking healthy and energetic and ready to rock. And on a hot muggy South Florida night, with my view being mere feet away from the band, Andrew did just that.

McMahon and the boys ripped right through the entire Everything In Transit CD in exact order. From the opening rocker, “Holiday From Real,” to the melodic closer, “Into The Airwaves,” the young 20s crowd was in an absolute frenzy. I’m partial to piano-driven melodic vocal alternative bands but the key is pulling it off live. The Fray did it and I’m happy to report Jack’s did, too. My favorite, “The Mixed Tape,” was brilliant. McMahon’s vocals and piano were pure. If you'd like hear a live version to capture the feel of the concert, click on the above Jack’s Mannequin link. The lyrics of the song move me because they are, in essence, a re-enactment of my own CD creative thinking process. My mixes are born from love, fear, depression, happiness, and in this case anger.

Where are you now?
As I'm swimming through the stereo,
I'm writing you a symphony of sound.
Where are you now?
As I rearrange the songs again
I swear to God this mix could sink the sun.
But it was you I was thinking of.

And this is my mixed tape for her.
It's like I wrote every note
With my own fingers.

Brilliantly written and brilliantly sung. The band treated us to a three-song encore which included curiously chosen covers of Tom Petty’s “American Girl” and the Everly Brothers golden oldie “Dream.” Curiously chosen but well-sung. Man, I hated for the concert to end. Time flies and in the seemingly blink of an eye, it was over amongst raucous cheers, flying water bottles, and set sheets being snapped up like free hundred dollar bills. Chalk up another concert winner. If you get a chance, go see Jack’s Mannequin in concert. It’s a helluva mixed tape.

P.S. If you were curious, McMahon explained, in an interview with absolutepunk.net, the band name origin citing, “Originally, there was not much significance behind the name. I had thought about naming it The Mannequins, but had grown bored of the "the" band names. I finished a song early on while writing for this record called Dear Jack and just kind of sandwiched the two words together.”


  • Did these guys debut on One Tree Hill? The girl in the video is definitely from One Tree Hill.

    By Blogger catsteevens, at 10:23 AM, June 05, 2006  

  • Todd, I asked you once if you ever get angry. You replied that you got mad at yourself and when you were fighting traffic. I am curious to whom your above-described anger is directed.

    By Blogger Eatapeach, at 9:07 AM, June 06, 2006  

  • Besides frustrations at work, I've only been angry at one person in the past 3 years. Disappointed in many people but angry at only one. The answer should be fairly obvious.

    By Blogger Plantation, at 7:24 AM, June 07, 2006  

  • There's a band here i think you would really like called stillife - check em out under my friends on my space.

    By Blogger Sass, at 11:15 PM, June 12, 2006  

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