Andrew McMahon is on the road again, in support of his latest album “Zombies on Broadway.” The album is his second studio album with his project 'Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness.' As McMahon gets further into his current project, he’s begun to write out his previous ones.
Being part of three successful bands is a pretty good problem to have for any musician, but for McMahon it’s nothing new. He first found success with So Cal punk rock outfit Something Corporate in the early 2000’s. McMahon then went off on his own to form Jack’s Mannequin, where he would again achieve mainstream success with three consecutive top 40 albums, two of which made it into the top 10. McMahon released a solo EP titled “The Pop Underground” in 2013 which took off behind the single “Synesthesia” and would then go on to form his current project Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness which features McMahon and two of the other three musicians from the final Jack’s Mannequin lineup. The current project has now released two albums, a self-titled debut record, and most recently “Zombies on Broadway”
On previous tours, McMahon has pretty evenly split his setlists between the three projects, playing material from throughout his career. But when the current tour rolled into Boston, MA at a sold out House of Blues on Saturday night, things had a bit of a different look. Opening with the new albums’ first single “Fire Escape” McMahon took the stage to rousing cheers. It wasn’t until the 7th song of the set that McMahon revisited his past by playing the ultra popular Jack’s Mannequin song “Dark Blue.”
The remainder of the evening would see McMahon playing only three more Jack’s Mannequin songs, one Something Corporate song, and an oddly placed Bruce Springsteen cover. However it was on the Wilderness material that McMahon looked his most passionate on stage. During “Don’t Speak For Me (True)” he took a ride around the room on a giant inflatable rubber duck that was passed through the crowd. And during “Synesthesia” he brought out a rainbow parachute to pass along the crowd.
It would appear that as the ‘In the Wilderness’ project grows, McMahon is moving further away from his past. While it is a bit of a let down for some of his older fans, the new fans he has gained with his current project couldn’t be happier. In fact, the crowd on Saturday night appeared to take to the more recent songs with more joy than the works from his other bands. It is a changing tide for McMahon as he continues to find his highest level of mainstream success as ‘In the Wilderness’ but for him, it appears he’s never had more fun than he’s having right now.
Opening the show was goth rockers Night Riots who impressed the sold out crowd with a short but sweet set of theatrical rock including a cover of U2’s "Sunday Bloody Sunday." Direct support on the tour is coming from Aussie rockers Atlas Genius who have become mainstays on alt rock radio in the past few years.
Photos - Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, Atlas Genius, Night Riots - 4/8/17: