It seems like every band that’s been around for more than a handful of years is doing some type of reunion or anniversary tour these days, and Jack’s Mannequin did exactly that at the Observatory on Tuesday night. Everything In Transit turned 10 in August of last year, so the band got back together for a mini-tour in celebration.
Of course, the evening was also something of a homecoming for the Dana Point native, as Andrew McMahon and his crew performed a mere half-hour drive away from where the piano-playing singer-songwriter was raised for the first time in a while.
Although the show was slightly delayed due to McMahon’s “Frankenstein piano” having technical difficulties in the moments leading up to the set time, the crowd cheered each time the 33-year-old frontman appeared at the piano to help troubleshoot.
Once the show finally kicked off just after 9:30, McMahon immediately announced that they’d be doing things a little differently than they did on the first show of the tour in Anaheim, as they’d start off with “six or seven old, but not that old songs” before playing their debut album all the way through.
While the crowd was still cheering, the band broke into “Crashin'” and “Spinning” to start the night before apologizing for the delayed starting time. A song later, “Bloodshot” gave McMahon his first opportunity to step away from the keys for a moment and climb on top of his piano prior to trotting across the stage during his performance of the first verse.
The primarily female crowd continued to belt out “Television,” “Amy, I,” and “The Resolution” before McMahon declared “This concludes the first portion of our evening” as a transition into the album portion of the show.
From just a few minutes after 10:00 to a bit after 11:00, the entire Observatory was dedicated to the 2005 album. Obviously, “The Mixed Tape” and “Dark Blue” got the biggest crowd responses, but young women of all ages (and their significant others) belted out many of the singalong choruses and memorable lines of virtually every song.
McMahon and his band did their best to make every song sound exactly like the record, but the one time they strayed off the course created one of the best moments of the night. The singer explained that the album was recorded “just down the road in San Clemente” and that it was about being a 22-year-old without much guidance as to where to go in life. He brought out a handful of friends and supporters to help sing “La La Lie,” even if they’re now all “old fuckers with wives and kids.”
After the set climaxed with both parts of MFEO and a confetti cannon, Jack’s Mannequin finished their debut album with a touching version of “Into the Airwaves” before briefly breaking and coming back to perform Tom Petty’s “American Girl” for an encore (complete with McMahon performing one of the greatest crowd surfs in history).
Holiday from Real
The Mixed Tape
La La Lie
Kill the Messenger
MFEO Pt. 1: Made for Each Other
MFEO Pt. 2: You Can Breathe
Into the Airwaves
American Girl (Tom Petty)