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Jack’s Mannequin shines in Kansas City

February 22, 2010

Andrew McMahon, lead singer of Jack's Mannequin, played for a packed crowd on Feb. 19 at the Beaumont Club. Photo by Sara Humm.

Sometimes battles bring us strength, make us smile, and restore hope in what we love.

At the same time, those same battles also bring weaknesses.  Weaknesses we can’t sometimes help, or even describe.

As for Andrew McMahon, lead singer of Jack’s Mannequin, his battle was rough—it was leukemia.

But it’s a battle he won.  He’s still here, still making music, still pounding those piano keys with his true passion.  It’s been almost five years.

And I was nervous for him as I was waiting with a packed crowd in line at the Beaumont Club on Friday.

It had been raining all day, and I felt like it really was the perfect weather for this show.  I had the opportunity to catch Jack’s Mannequin’s set at Warped Tour 2008, and in the middle of the song “Dark Blue,” it started raining.

“And today was a day just like any other,” Andrew sung as got comfortable on his piano.   He then looked up and smiled.

I couldn’t help but smile back, because it’s fitting that almost two years later, it really was just like that day in July 2008.  It’s a balance, almost.  It helped settle my nerves.

As the set continued, he too, continued his story. I could feel it and I couldn’t help but be taken aback by it.  His voice, his charm.  (And I can’t forget that piano; it just makes my heart flutter.)

At the same time, I can’t really explain why I felt so nervous.  Maybe because these songs are about his struggles, some of which are hard for me to listen to.

“Holiday From Real,” was my favorite of the night, which I’ve been waiting to hear live since their first CD was released in 2005.  I was not disappointed.

The crowd also made this show enjoyable— I could tell these people felt the same way I did as they were singing back lyrics and jumping all over each other.

Listening to these songs live also made me realize that this is Andrew’s story, almost a vocal documentation of what he’s been though.

As I was thinking this, he said he was ‘glad that this tour was almost over and he could start making ‘real music.’  He also then explained that it’s not like he’s not making real music now, but that he’ll have ‘something else to write about.

For this hour-long set, I was bonded (literally) to these other fans.  I can’t say I know what will come next for Jack’s Mannequin, and for now, I can’t guess.

Friday night, though, I was glad I was a part of his story.  And it’s obvious I’ll be singing along with the next chapter, too.

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