The return of Andrew McMahon to the UK was always going to cause a stir. A sold out show at London's KCLSU following his six year absence from these shores, proves he is a still as popular as ever, despite returning with a new band.
A lot has happened since McMahon last played a London venue. His previous band Something Corporate have disbanded, he's released two albums with Jack's Mannequin, and most remarkably, McMahon had been diagnosed with leukemia, before making a full recovery. Taking all factors into consideration, emphasis on tonight's show was always going to be about the man, rather than the band.
The highlights of the set were largely predictable, with songs from the band's first record such as 'Holiday From Real' and 'Dark Blue' providing most crowd participation, but newer songs such as 'Spinning' and 'The Resolution' were also well received.
The encore though, arguably provided the most memorable moments of the hour and a half set, with McMahon returning to the stage alone to play an emotional rendition of 'Caves,' a song which he quietly declares was 'hard to write.' In a performance which included raw emotion, optimism, and stage banter, Andrew McMahon also acknowledged his past band's achievements, through the inclusion of fan's favourite 'Cavanaugh Park,' a rare throwback to the Something Corporate years, before concluding with 'La La Lie.'
Jack's Mannequin are a very solid live band, but rather than providing just a live show, Andrew McMahon's return to London signifies something much deeper than music. Having overcome a form of cancer, his emotionally driven songs provide hope for others, and that is something that shouldn't be overlooked, by anyone.