Friday night I went to see Andrew McMahon, Night Riots, and Atlas Genius put on a show at the House of Blues in Orlando. House of Blues is one of my favorite venues, it's small and moderately intimate but large enough to where you don't end up feeling like you're sandwiched in.
I really enjoy Disney Springs in general, they've done a great job setting everything up to where parking puts you directly into where you want to be instead of making you walk miles to where you want to go. I park my car and I'm basically at my concert.
The show opened with Night Riots and I was glad that I had listened to a few of their more popular songs on YouTube, otherwise I would have only recognized Contagious. This was especially apparent when Atlas Genius came out to play afterwards. I had heard their name, but recognized none of their music. Unfortunately for me I was also in the direct eye line of one of their lights. During two songs I was getting blinded by the lighting so it was kind of hard to enjoy it.
Then of course came the main act.
I was first introduced to Andrew McMahon about a year and a half ago. I had never heard of him, Jack's Mannequin, or Something Corporate. I had never heard of his fight with cancer, or the Dear Jack campaign. After that first show, having only ever heard Cecilia prior, I spent a good deal of time absorbing everything I could find about the artist and his foundation. There is an incredible documentary about McMahon and his journey through cancer called Dear Jack. It's no longer streaming on Netflix but it is available via the Netflix DVD and on Amazon.
One of the things that I grew to love about McMahon is his earnestness and honesty. When he gets on stage, you can feel that he feels the music with you. He almost seems as though he'd rather sing in the middle of the crowd away from the piano, he goes into the audience quite often. When he is at the piano though, he moves in a way reminiscent of Jerry Lee Lewis. He is constantly moving while playing which isn't terribly common. He also takes time to stop and just talk to the audience sans music and tell a story or two about himself, or how a song came about.
With this being the third show of his that I have now seen, I was a tiny bit disappointed to see the parachute come out again. He talks a little bit about playing with the parachutes as kids and how nice it was to forget about troubles and such. It's a nice sentiment but having seen it for the third time now, it didn't feel as fresh. What WAS fresh and entertaining was the crowd surfing he did on the giant inflatable Rubber Ducky and Pegasus. At one point he fell off the Pegasus and the crowd just lifted him back up onto it.
As with his other shows I laughed and I teared up. I love his music and I'm glad that I was introduced to him. I've linked to the Dear Jack Foundation below. If you're reading this and have a little to spare, I would highly recommend a donation to this worthy cause. McMahon is one of the few celebrities who is impassioned for a cause through personal experience and I find that to be incredibly noble.