The Final Riot! Tour
August 30th, 2008
Jack’s Mannequin’s Everything In Transit is easily one of my all time favorite records. After picking it up on the day it came out, I listened to it constantly for about six months, and I’ll still periodically go though stages where I’ll spin it for weeks on end. The only thing I don’t like about Jack’s Mannequin is the fact that they had somehow avoided me for so long. I didn’t think this was right or fair, but I was able to forgive them when they announced a show on the last day of summer opening for Paramore at the Chevy Theatre in Wallingford, about 15 minutes from my house.
First of all, I have to mention that the Chevy Theatre isn’t a venue these bands would normally play. For one, it has seats, and lot of them. It normally hosts comedians, theatre performances, and bands that cater to a more “mature” audience. However, with the first section of seats removed to create a pit and a packed house, the atmosphere was much better than I expected, and with the pit being pretty small, I was able to get pretty close despite missing the openning band and arriving just as Phantom Planet took the stage.
Best know for their 2002 hit (and O.C. theme song) “California,” Phantom Planet recently released their fourth full length album “Raise the Dead” and played a set consisting of what I believe were songs mainly from that record. While I’m not familiar with them, I though they played a very solid set. While most in the crowd were only familiar with “California,” the band was able to keep them quite interested throughout. At one point, the band was joined on stage by members of the tours other bands. This included an appearance by Jack’sMannequin lead singer Andrew McMahon wearing a dress and playing guitar. It was of course, the last night of the tour, so none of this was surprising.
Next up was the band I’ve waited so long to see, and they certainly didn’t disapoint. While their set was (of
course) too short, the songs they did play sounded simply amazing. They opened with “I’m Ready,” and even though I’ve watched plenty of live videos of Adrew juggling his duties as front-man and piano player, I’m still amazed by how well he does it. In my (very biased) opinion, I think Jack’s stole the show, playing all of their songs with such energy and enthusiasm it was impossible for the crowd not to be completely in to the set. The band played one new song from their upcoming album The Glass Passenger, that being the first single “The Resolution.” Tt was flawless and a definite highlight of the night. Jack’s finished with a superb rendition of “Made For Each Other/You Can Breathe Now,” which included Andrew not only adding a few Police lyrics, but also climbing up on the piano at one point and then stomping on the keys before leaving the stage.
Jack’s Mannequin set list (in no particular order, because I can’t remember it)
La La Lie
Kill The Messenger
The Mixed Tape
And next of course was Paramore, who, based on the huge crowd, is really really big these days. Now, I’ve come to the conclusion that, overall, their set was good. However, left near the end of it. Now, I know this is a no-no, but I was at the back of a parking lot approximately the size of my home town, and I had to leave for school early the next morning, and I still had to pack. So… ok those really aren’t great excuses, but anyway, they did put on a very good show. But “good” was more of an average, for I though some of it was great, and some of it was decidedly less so. I like Paramore, especially their last record, but I’m certainly not their biggest fan, so that may have been one of the reasons I though some of their songs fell flat. Others like “That’s What You Get,” “For A Pessimist, I’m Pretty Optimistic,” “Emergecy” and “Pressure” were show stoppers. While the ramps leading leading up to the top of the stage set-up were a little bit much, I thought the band sounded very good musically, and Haley does have a great voice. The crowd seemed to eat up every word she said in between songs, and a highlight of the set was when she described how touring with Andrew McMahon was dream come true, just before he joined her on stage to play keyboard.
By leaving early, I’m sure I missed the encore and another round of end-of-the-tour hijinks, but I was quite
satisified by what I had already seen. While Jack’s Mannequin’s stole the show, I was impressed by Phantom Planet and Paramore, two bands I hadn’t even been familair with before the tour. While I would certainly see both of them again, the idea of a Jack’s Mannequin fall headlining tour, which is soon to be announced, has me salavating like one of Pavlov’s dogs. And with that, I have achived two long-standing goals: seeing Jack’s Mannequin, and working a refence to Pavlov’s dogs into a show review.