Jack’s Mannequin Spot-On In What Could Be Last Boston Appearance
Short version: Jack’s mannequin played a show in Boston. They were great. They normally are. You should seem them live. But if you missed this show, you’ might be out of luck.
Slightly Extended version: On Friday night, Jack’s Mannequin brought down the house, again. They were making their first proper Boston appearance since the release of their third album, People and Things, and with a history of memorable area appearances, everyone in attendance knew they were in for a great show. Just one question lingered, and likely won’t be answered for some time: was this the band’s final time playing in the city?
In a recently published interview with Andrew McMahon, the band’s frontman/mastermind had, in a vague, artist speak kind of way hinted that the band had run its course. He said the project wasn’t as enjoyable as it once had been, and it might just be time to move on. This didn’t come as a complete surprises when you considering McMahon originally intended Jack’s to be a one-off side project, and it was now going into its seventh year. Also, Places and Thing, despite being a solid album, didn’t receive the type of enthusiastic reception the band’s first two efforts had.
While McMahon didn’t acknowledge the future of the band during the show, and most in the crowd were probably unaware of these comments, those who did know realized this could be the end of something special. If this tour is indeed the last hurrah, the band demonstrated they plan to go out swinging.
The night opened with a set from Allen Stone (which I missed). Philadelphia three-piece Jukebox the Ghost then took the stage. Their forty-five minute set was relatively well received by the crowd, which at this point had already packed the House of Blues.
Jack’s Mannequin kicked off their set with “Bruised” from debut album Everything in Transit. While the band had plenty of new material to show off, this older favorite had the crowd singing along so loudly McMahon had to battle to be heard.
While it quickly became obvious from the set list this was the People and Things tour, McMahon and Co. did a good job of mixing in songs from their first two records alongside new tracks such as “Release Me”, “Amy, I”, and “Amelia Jean.”
While these new songs didn’t receive quite the reaction that many of the older tracks did, most of them were more impressive and packed more of a punch than they do on the record. McMahon has said that People and Things was recorded as more of a full band effort and less as a solo project, and this seemed to benefit the group’s live show. In an ideal world, the band’s performance of “Hey Hey Hey (We’re All Gonna Die)” and “People Running” alone should boost sales of the new record by at least a few hundred copies next week. It probably won’t happen, but both of these tracks were show-stoppers.
Good record sales or not, McMahon’s stage presence is second to none. Even in a cavernous venue packed with 2,000 people, you couldn’t help but feel like he was playing you songs in his living room. The stage set up didn’t hurt, for the band was surround by household lamps and blue light bulbs suspended above the stage. At other times, two giant “mirror balls” (as McMahon described them) set the venue awash in light.
The rest of the band’s set didn’t feature any real curve balls. “Bloodshot” “Holiday From Real” and clos
to the encore, the band returned to the stage to perform the acoustic track “Restless Dream,” which they followed by “My Racing Thoughts” ( although I could be wrong on that one though).ing number “Dark Blue” all received huge reactions from the crowd, as they always do. Never ones to skimp when it comes
to do it.Finally, the band would bring the night to a close with “La La La Lie”, another Everything in Transit staple. Basked in confetti and “mirror ball” light, the band would make their way off the House of Blues stage for what very well could have been the final time. If this in fact was the last Boston appearance, going out with a superb set in front of an ecstatic sellout crowd isn’t a bad way