One thing I was really crossing my fingers for was an Andrew McMahon show in the SoCal area. For the past few months, I’d been obsessively checking his website for some kind of announcement because I was so let down that he was only playing a certain tour’s east coast dates. He announced some headliner shows after that, but none of them were in California.
The stars all aligned on my last Monday morning in Burbank. (I’m trying to not make this sound so dramatic.) I was usually never up so early, but since I came from New York the night before, my body clock was still in a different time zone. Andrew tweeted that he was going to have a show that Wednesday in West Hollywood. That was in two days. Just thirty minutes away from me. In a two hundred capacity venue. Yeah, I freaking the eff out.
I was jumping up and down and running all over the apartment being way too excited and purchased my ticket right away without really thinking. This was Andrew McMahon. There was no way I was missing out!
The show was at the held at the legendary Viper Room, where River Phoenix died of a drug overdose back in 1993. I heard the venue was tiny, but it was still a lot smaller than I expected—which meant that no matter where you stood, you had a good view of the stage. It was the perfect place to see one of my all-time favorite musicians for the first time.
I know I don’t write well at all, but I have absolutely no idea how to write about music. Which is a bummer because it’s my favorite thing in the entire world. So, I don’t know how to go about this exactly, but Andrew McMahon is an incredible performer and it was such a privilege to see him live. Among a bunch of other songs I’ve loved for years, he played Cavanaugh Park, my favorite Something Corporate song, and Rescued, my favorite Jack’s Mannequin song. He also played two new songs from his upcoming record, and it was amazing to be part of the first crowd to hear those songs live.
Until now, when I look at the photos, I still can’t believe that actually happened. I’m fangirling here, but I really love Andrew and everything he’s ever put out, from his stuff with Something Corporate to his latest release as Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness. The music he’s put out this past year is pretty different from his other work, ditching the guitars for synths, but his piano melodies and brilliant songwriting’s still there—which is really what I fell in love with in the first place.
After the show, I waited by the stage for him. Most of the crowd already left the venue at this point, and there were really only about twenty other people waiting to meet him. I was first to run up to him to ask for a photo, but I didn’t really get to chat with him since he was making his way to talk to his family and friends. (It was a hometown show, after all.) I didn’t mind at all though, even seeing him live was more than enough for me.
After a few minutes, he started meeting his fans. I lined up again because why not? This time I got to talk to him—I told him how I was about to end my vacation in California and how I was really stoked that he announced a show in the area before I left. He told me, “That’s amazing! I’m so glad it worked out for you,” and he seemed really genuine about it too. He’s one of those musicians that make it a point to meet and converse with people who support him, and these days, where other people charge an extra amount for meet and greets that last all of ten seconds, I admire that so much.
California won me over this time around. There was no better way to end this little vacation.