Andrew McMahon casts his spell on Austin at Emo’s


Andrew McMahon casts his spell on Austin at Emo’s

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Eric Webb/American-Statesman
Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness performs at Emo's in Austin on Saturday, April 29, 2017.

Signs you were at the sold-out Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness show at Emo's on Saturday:

  • You helped pass a crowdsurfing McMahon – riding a rubber ducky – over your head 
  • You danced under a giant parachute 
  • You stood near someone in a "Make America Emo Again" hat 

In the days leading up to McMahon's Austin appearance, we discovered that the former Something Corporate/Jack's Mannequin frontman is a Statesman newsroom favorite – here are our staff highlights from the show:

Katey Psencik, online content producer: I always cry when he plays "Swim." It's a song that has quite literally saved my life more than a few times, and I get choked up every time I hear it. When he introduced it by saying the Dear Jack Foundation had saved its first life via a bone marrow donation at a concert, I had to bite the insides of my cheeks to keep from ugly-crying my way through the song (there were still some crocodile tears, though).  

He usually does "The Mixed Tape" stripped down and slow, piano-only. But when they launched into the studio version of the song, hearing those first few chords tugged at my 13-year-old self. And singing that version of the song right next to my best friend of more than a decade, who introduced me to that song and to Jack's Mannequin in the first place, was really special.

Eric Webb, social media & engagement editor: My expectations for the show had been primed by Katey Psencik to not expect many old songs. So imagine my delight when I heard "Dark Blue" ... and "Holiday From Real" ... and "I Woke Up In a Car" ... and "La La Lie" ... and, be still my heart, "The Mixed Tape." Also, I made no bones about being primarily a Jack's Mannequin/Something Corporate fan and not a big Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness devotee going into this show. Maybe it was the nostalgia-induced goodwill, but I definitely found a fresh appreciation for the new stuff, too.

Gabrielle Muñoz, digital news editor: This was my first time to see Andrew McMahon live – I was introduced to his solo work just last year and fell hard for his debut album before my mind was blown by realizing the Jack's Mannequin connection (late to the party, I know). I've come back to Everything in Transit again and again over the years, and nothing could top finally singing "have you ever been alone in a crowded room" at the top of my lungs in the middle of a crowded room.

Runner up: “Halls,” aka the soundtrack to my 2016.

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