From experience these types of shows generally blow me away and Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness was no exception. For most Andrew was better known for being the front man of Something Corporate (who toured Australia) with The Offspring many years ago and more recently with Jack’s Mannequin. Let’s state it clearly this guy is a star and it will only be a matter of time until his popularity soars. He has stage presence, charm and charisma then to top it off he has a catalogue of both old and new of awesome songs to play.
MchMahon remarked how Fowlers Live had a cool punk rock vibe and that it had been way to long since he was in Australia and his appearance at Soundwave. Canyon Moon and High Drive off his self-titled debut were absolute stunners. The songs took on greater meaning with the stories he told about how they were inspired and the importance of them during a particular period of his life. Halls is a metaphor of sorts referring to cartwheels in the corridor of the hotel on the Jack’s Mannequin tour in Tucson and whether his pants were on right. My Racing Thoughts and Watch The Sky were popular and McMahon promised the crowd, particular those who followed the tour around the country, that tonight’s set list would be different.
A few yobbos down the front prompted a response “my brothers are usually way drunker than you when they come to my shows”. Driving Through A Dream was a result of waking during the middle of the night going through the laundry list instead of dreaming of a cute girl in the back of a car. McMahon threw in a few quite ones going it solo with Rainy Girl and Swim. McMahon talked about taking a chance with something like changing band’s and his name having that ‘what the fuck’ moment but talking to his wife about this hard reset was a huge leap of faith. It seemed like all the dots were connecting with a new band, new album and a band which inspired Rainy Girl.
Swim was another major highlight dedicated to the adolescents that are battling cancer. McMahon spoke about all the work and money he is raising, making a full recovery himself, and it was hard not to feel inspired by him. From strength to strength McMahon powered on through I Woke Up In A Car and La La Lie. Feeling this “kindred connection” he asked whether he could call our city Radelaide and explained this weird feeling of having to go off and come back on for an encore opting to just play more songs.
So welcome to the encore! Wow! How good was Hammers And Strings (A Lullaby) followed by the epic single Celcilia And The Satellite, it really doesn’t get any better than that. In closing McMahon said he wanted to bring some magic to the show and brought out the magic parachute which covered a good majority of the front section. It was up the crowd to get under it and keep the parachute in the air. McMahon jumped down off the stage to sing and dance with the fans to close out the show with Synesthesia. It was an awesome way to bring the room a live and top off a great night.