It’s crazy to me to think about how far both of these artists have come since the inception of their careers. Andrew McMahon has been in the game for as long as I can remember: Something Corporate, Jack’s Mannequin, solo work, and now Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness. New Politics have been doing it for a shorter amount of time, but the number of accomplishments and successes that they’ve achieved is mind-blowing. I believe that, starting in 2013, they came through the Bay Area a total of seven times, all on different tours, with their lineup position rising gradually with every show they took on.
Both of these bands took the stage for a co-headlining tour last Friday night at The Fox Theater. The show was kicked off with immaculate sets from openers LOLO and The Griswolds. By the time New Politics took the stage, the audience was clearly ready to the energy to be kicked up a notch.
And the band did not disappoint. The three-piece rock group from Denmark pushed things into high gear by delivering tracks from their collective catalogue. Songs from their most recent effort, Vikings, were present, while they included all of the hits from A Bad Girl In Harlem and “Yeah Yeah Yeah” from their self-titled record. The last time I had seen them was prior to the release of Vikings, so I wasn’t entirely sure how the new songs would play out live. To be honest, I think they came off just as well as the hits like “Harlem” and “Tonight You’re Perfect”.
After that energetic set, Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness took the stage. I’ll admit that the set was rather toned down towards the beginning of the show. The first two songs were ones that I would consider rather calming. McMahon was bathed in barely any lighting, allowing for a slightly calmer tone to overtake the audience. Suddenly, he takes hold of the piano, and the opening notes to “Dark Blue” (a Jack’s Mannequin track) ring through the venue. The audience bursts into a frenzy, and the energy immediately picks back up. People love hearing those old Jack’s Mannequin songs. It’s almost like getting a visit from an old friend, if that makes sense.
Throughout the rest of the night, McMahon played a wide variety of tracks that spanned his career. While some of them were more toned down, there was a vibe throughout the audience that is rare to come across at shows. It was a bit more intimate, but you felt like you were a part of something. Every time McMahon spoke into the microphone, you felt as if you were getting a story or insight into a track that you previously hadn’t heard about before. It was unique and inspired.
The show culminated with the band bringing out a giant parachute (like those ones you used in pre-school) that was draped over the crowd. McMahon jumped off the stage, and proceeded to make his way up to the soundboard, THROUGH the crowd. Fans were jumping and singing along with him as he walked, sharing hugs and sing-along moments throughout those few minutes. I’ve never seen an artist do something like that in a venue as large as The Fox Theater.
Andrew McMahon and New Politics may not have the same kind of music, but they do have one thing in common: the ability to make their fans really appreciate a moment, and remember that they’re a part of something bigger than they could ever imagine. In my mind, this makes them the perfect pair for a co-headlining tour.
This has been another Shameless Promotion.