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Jack's Mannequin a sexy, stripped-down show
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Jack's Mannequin a sexy, stripped-down show

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Staff Writer

Jack's Mannequin
February 5
Showbox SoDo


Jack's Mannequin, with special guests Fun and Vedera, kicked off their 'Sing For Your Supper' tour at Showbox SoDo on February 5 with a nonstop show of great songs, audience sing-alongs and feel-good music that spanned over three hours of rock music bliss.

The Orange County band formed in 2004 and hasn't looked back since. Jack's Mannequin primarily makes music that resonates well with lovers, not fighters. Bucking against current trends of depressing "my girlfriend left me" or "nobody understands me" rock, these boys are as fun to listen to as they are great to look at. If you heart quirky nerds, this band's for you.

Jack's Mannequin frontman Andrew McMahon sings songs from a place that many of us may never understand - the contrast between life and death. In June, 2005, McMahon was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, just months before the release of Jack's Mannequin's debut studio album, Everything in Transit. After McMahon made a full recovery, the band returned to touring and have since released a second studio album, The Glass Passenger.

At the Showbox, the band played fan favorites as well as B-sides to ensure that everyone got to hear the songs they love. Most of Jack's Mannequin's better-known material comes from Everything in Transit, so it was no surprise that the bulk of the set came from that album. McMahon has said that he took a therapeutic approach to writing these songs due to his battle with leukemia, which is a testament to his songwriting. The band, with minimal stage lighting and a dressed-down wardrobe, delivered "The Mixed Tape," "Bruised," and "Kill the Messenger." The performance turned into an audience sing-along as McMahon sang "La La Lie," one of the band's signature tunes. My personal favorite, "Holiday from Real," was performed to perfection.

Some attention was given to The Glass Passenger, too. Jack's Mannequin performed "Bloodshot," "Swim," and "Crashin."

In a moment where the past met the present, McMahon did his best Bono as the band covered U2's "New Year's Day."

Before exiting the stage, McMahon thanked the crowd for being "such a great audience" and described the show as a "magical night." Returning for an encore, Jack's Mannequin performed "Dark Blue," a definite fan favorite.

Throughout most of the set, McMahon sang while playing the piano with a passion. The beauty of a Jack's Mannequin show is its simplicity - a band, minimal stage, and one hell of a songbook. Often at concerts, great songs give way to over-the-top fanfare. Not with this band. You get hot boys playing hot songs - a sexy, stripped-down rock show.

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