Band Concert Review
Jack's Mannequin: No Longer 'Bruised'
Charter One Pavilion at Northerly Island, Chicago, IL, Saturday July 17, 2006
The energy-infused piano-rock band Jack's Mannequin, solo project of lead singer and pianist Andrew McMahon, arrived at Chicago's 'Northerly Island' and showed exactly why so many people admire him and his music so deeply. It was amazingly refreshing to see Andrew back out touring after taking time off to record his new band's first CD, Everything in Transit, and to recover from his diagnosis of leukemia. Jack's Mannequin is a spin-off of McMahon's California-based band Something Corporate. They both have similar sounds, but Jack's Mannequin is Andrew's canvas for painting a picture of the personal things he feels and experiences in his everyday life. While sporting sunglasses and playing the piano, the city of Chicago skyline sat in between him and a golden sunset. It was a pretty surreal site considering many of his fans didn't know when or if they would be able to experience Andrew back on stage and on tour again. While tearing through the 45 minute long set, McMahon and his band mates showed plenty of enthusiasm for the songs that personally mean so much to Andrew.
On May 26, 2005, a couple months before the release of Jack's Mannequin's debut album Everything in Transit, a major setback forced McMahon to cancel all of his upcoming concerts. After a medical examination in connection with a relentless case of laryngitis, McMahon was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. After receiving a stem cell transplant from his sister Katie, Andrew made a full recovery.
Both Andrew and fans of his have done so much to raise money for leukemia awareness including selling orange wristbands that sported the slogan, "I will fight." They sold close to 6,000 bands and raised over $20,000 which was donated to the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation. He also played at an acoustic cancer benefit concert a few months back, and starting on September 9 is heading out on "The Tour for the Cure" with 'Copeland,' 'The Hush Sound,' and 'Daphne Loves Derby.' As Jack's Mannequin's record label Maverick says, " Not only will you see a great show, but you'll get the satisfaction of knowing that a portion of Jack's Mannequin's tour proceeds will go to the Dear Jack Foundation - Andrew McMahon's own foundation geared towards raising money for cancer research."
While the acoustics at Northerly Island are less than sufficient, Andrew's piano seemed to tear through the crowd with such a purpose. During an extended 'jam session' at the end of "Kill the Messenger," the multitude of fans were able to appreciate just how musically talented everyone in the band is. On the 7 th song of the set, "Into the Airwaves," McMahon and band mates provided the patrons of Charter One Pavilion the luxury of an extended intro that lead everyone into the song at hand. On the second to last song that Jack's played, they took a step in a different direction by playing Tom Petty's "American Girl." It was very well received by the crowd and everyone in attendance helped the band sing practically every word.
I hope you get the chance to catch Jack's Mannequin either on the rest of their summer tour, or get out this fall to see them on "The Tour for the Cure." They will be joined by some great up-and-coming bands and I'm convinced they will put on a great show for you.
Jack's Mannequin consists of lead singer/pianist Andrew McMahon, Bobby Anderson on guitar, bassist Jon Sullivan, and drummer Jay McMillan.