We're giving away a pair of tickets for the Andrew McMahonshow at the Paramount in New York on April 13th. To win, tell me how Andrew's music turned you into the music fanatic you are today. I will notify a winner by tomorrow morning. Good luck.
Last fall, Andrew McMahon (back when Jacks Mannequin was still a thing) and Secondhand Serenade played at my school. My friend was a huge Secondhand Serenade fan, and her birthday was coming up, so when they said they would be outside the venue after the show to hang out and meet fans, I decided to wait in the cold for an hour outside to try and get her a video message. Not only did Secondhand Serenade never come out, but they didn't even tell anybody they wouldnt be coming except to stick there heads out the door and say it was too cold (fans were not allowed back in to the venue). So instead, about 15 minutes later, Andrew McMahon came out and spoke with each individual fan who waited outside for 5-10 minutes each (he was out there for over an hour in the cold). Not only did he sign my ticket stub, but he also let me record a video of him singing happy birthday to my friend, which i would go on to send her on her birthday. It was one of the classiest and coolest things I've ever experienced in my life, and that's when I decided to start going to shows constantly.
Andrew McMahon not only helped me to become more interested in finding new bands and music to listen to, however he changed my perspective on quite a few things. When I first discovered Jack's Mannequin in 2009, I was instantly hooked. His lyrics and melodies drew me in and I knew that I would always have something to relate to, and I would never be alone when I listened to his songs. His music is extremely uplifting and inspiring and showed me how to be a fighter. Andrew's documentary, "Dear Jack", changed my entire perspective on life and how valuable it is. It showed me that in the end, one must be strong and confide in those who will always be there to support him. 2011 was a rough year for me, and one of the factors that helped me dig myself out of a deep rut was Andrew's music. He is truly an inspiration to me and his outlook on life is one that everyone should have. Finding such great music inspired me to search for other bands, and I ended up finding quite a few that I still listen to today. His shows are incredible and seeing him live made me want to go to shows constantly because it's where I feel most at home. I would be ecstatic if I were given this incredible opportunity; Andrew McMahon brought things out in me I could not find myself.
I discovered Jack's Mannequin in my freshman year of high school, right around the time that I was truly developing into the music fan I am today. I wasn't yet knowledgable about music and I was just started to discover on my own what I like and dislike. A friend of a friend posted the music video for Dark Blue on her Facebook, and I thought that I recognized the song title, so I gave it a listen. After that, I was hooked. I downloaded Everything In Transit, and listened obsessively. Since then, Everything In Transit has been one of my top five favorite all-time albums. To listen to it is like wrapping myself in a blanket on a cold day. Each song is a comfort for me, so many lines have an important meaning. To see Andrew live would be an experience like none other. I would be placed before a man who has changed and positively altered who I am as a music fan.
I first heard of Andrew McMahon when I was still in junior high school. My friend was singing Dark Blue in the hallway and it was stuck in my head the whole day. I decided to listen to it and immediately got hooked onto his music, more specifically, Everything In Transit. His music helped me through a lot of shit in junior high and his music still helps me now in high school. He's got these positive vibes that really lift you up when you're down and that's not something you find all the time in music. His music also helped expand my own music taste, getting me into other bands and discovering new artists that would eventually help me too. I've also met a lot of great people because of listening to Andrew and it's helped me step out of my shell and create really great relationships. Seeing Andrew perform live would be an absolutely amazing experience and would remind me of how far I've come.
When I was 10 years old, 8 years ago, my much-older cousin, Steph, brought me to an FYE on Easter weekend to look at CDs with me. She had bought me American Idiot a few months earlier, which I loved, and she was trying to expand my musical tastes beyond what was on the radio. I bought a used copy of Enema of the State with money my mom gave me for the weekend, and Steph bought a new copy of Something Corporate's "Leaving Through The Window." Despite my protests and desire to listen to blink in the car, Steph insisted that we listen to LTTW at least once through. After hearing it once, I was hooked. That album is so memorable, I loved the reference to New Found Glory in the opening lines of I Wanna Save You, the unexpected "fuck you, Jordan!" in If You C Jordan, and Hurricane was stuck in my head for the rest of the night. Leaving Through the Window was a pivotal album in defining the music I listen to today; I found the rest of Drive-Thru roster, including some of my all time favorite bands like the Early November, through researching the band. For Christmas that year, Steph bought me my own copy of Leaving Through The Window and a copy of Everything In Transit, a CD I wanted but my mom wouldn't let me get because of the PA sticker. My cousin and I still bond over SoCo, even as our musical tastes have shifted over the years. I still have those CDs, but LTTW skips on I Woke Up in a Car, which is a huge bummer, as that's my second favorite Andrew song behind Konstantine (obligatory.) I'd love to win this, my girl and I were just jamming to MFEO in the car tonight, via the very same CD my cousin bought me years ago.
I was in 8th grade. I was a fan of NFG, Green Day, and Blink...but that was about it. I remember my brother driving me home from school and he had "Leaving Through The Window" in. Never has an album just grabbed me like that. Not even t today. Yes, the album and songs were great (the first album I ever listened to that I wouldn't skip a track...maybe Nimrod, but the sound was different than anything I had heard at the time. It appealed to NFG fans (even loved the reference in I Want To Save You), but it appealed to radio rock/Goo Goo Doll types too. It was clever, it was well written, it was what a blossoming teenager needed. I think I burned that album and handed it to every friend or relative. As I progressed as a musician, I would play shows and never missed the opportunity to play a SoCo song. Then came Jack's and again I was astounded. The sun tinged pop of freshman was excellent, the melodic and intelligent sophomore, and the damn near perfect third album (lest we forget B-Sides that run circles around many an album in the same era). Andrew's music has always touched me...hell grabbed me. It's progressed me as a musician and singer and I feel I have grown alongside his albums. Where people would say Glass Passenger was too mature compared to the past, I feel it was the perfect fit for where he was in sound and style and for where I was in my life. I put Andy at the top of my favorite songwriter list (in fact in each iteration of his music, I have always said I would follow Andy no matter what project he was doing.) It certainly doesn't hurt that Saturday is my birthday and it would be an awesome gift. I can always find something of myself in his works, even when I wasn't expecting to. "I'll raise towers and climb them, rivers and walk them...the rising tide will not let you forget me." My senior quote in my yearbook and words I try to live by to this day coming into my late 20s
I live in Austin, but i wanted to share this story anyways. My best friend and I discovered SoCo in high school in 2003 and have followed Andrew ever since. SoCo paved the way to most of the music that we listen to up to this day; Brand New, TBS, a lot of the bands that are mentioned on Absolutepunk. Fast forward to 2010 and SoCo had the reunion tour. My best friend, his wife, and I traveled from Arkansas to Dallas to see the show. My now girlfriend, and future wife, was in front of us in line and the rest is history. Over the last almost 3 years we became best friends and moved in together in Austin last July. Between SoCo, JM, and Andrew's solo stuff, we have seen him 6 times. He and his music have been an integral part of our life and relationship and we will continue to see him until he retires from making music.