Though Andrew McMahon joked that he's nearly too old to play "21 and Invincible" these days, the shoulder-to-shoulder crowd at The Viper Room clearly disagreed, cheering their beloved vocalist through a set of early favorites, unreleased essentials, and bona fide hits spanning his entire career. No record went untouched as Andrew smiled, sang, and showed why 2013 may be his best year yet.
Despite retiring the Jack's Mannequin moniker last November, half of McMahon's set came from the recently-closed era, starting with the unreleased "Wrecking Ball Heart." Spending most the night staggered between Something Corporate classics and Jack's Mannequin staples, the audience was treated to tastes of every album, from 2001's Audioboxer to 2011's People And Things (and even 2000's Ready...Break, if you count that nine-minute live track tacked on the end...you know the one). Perhaps the best testament to McMahon's catalog came from the song distribution, with no album offering the set more than three songs (The Glass Passenger and Leaving Through The Window tied for the largest contributions).
While 15/16ths of the show came from yesteryear, Andrew debuted a bit of the future with a new song, entitled "Learn To Dance." The clapped intro, synth-heavy chorus and surprisingly electronic bridge all worked well, not varying too far from familiar ground while still introducing new elements. McMahon noted that the band only had eight days and a rough demo to rehearse with, but the song sounded tight and well-practiced, certainly ready for his upcoming solo EP.
Most importantly to some, "Konstantine" made another appearance for the second time in three shows, last heard at the 11/12 Jack's Mannequin farewell. As the audience gave their expected whimpers and gasps, McMahon momentarily paused the song to find out if anyone wagered on the set list, turning a tearjerker into another fun moment. The track's rarity at live shows makes it notable, but "La La Lie" was certainly the night's highlight - no song garners as passionate of sing-alongs as the Everything In Transit tune.
It may have been billed as his first solo performance, but Andrew's clearly the same guy we've loved for years. Watch for his remaining dates as a headliner or opener for fun., and expect a new EP in the coming months.