The Wilderness Politics Tour: Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness and New Politics at the Majestic Ventura Theater

I first heard of Andrew McMahon back in the Jack’s Mannequin days and that opened me up to getting into his first band, Something Corporate, as well. Everything in Transit is probably my favorite album because I enjoy and can sing along to every track on it, so I am really excited that I get to see Andrew perform the songs as part of the Jack’s Mannequin 10 Years in Transit tour. But before knowing that the tour was going to happen, I was bummed out that I had never actually gotten to see Jack’s Mannequin live in concert. Scratch that. I did see them live once as a featured guest at The Fray’s concert at the Santa Barbara Bowl, but I never got to go to a headlining show.

Well, Andrew is still making music and has gotten pretty popular under his newest project, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness. The single “Cecilia and the Satellite” has been making the rounds on the radio and it’s a great track dedicated to his daughter.

Anyway, I learned that Andrew was touring with New Politics, another band with several songs that I like, as part of the Wilderness Politics Tour. I figured that I need to rectify my past mistake of not seeing Jack’s Mannequin in the past by checking out Andrew live now, but by the time I got around to buying a ticket, the LA show was already sold out. Bummer. I thought I missed out on my chance, but I ended up making a completely rash decision and just buying a ticket for the day after at the show in Ventura.

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Ventura is not very close to where I live. It’s about an hour or so away, even if there isn’t any traffic. Still, I was determined. I mean, I had already driven to the Santa Barbara Bowl and back twice for a concert, so this wasn’t too crazy. Parking on the street was incredibly easy and then off I was into the Majestic Ventura Theater

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Of the two headliners, New Politics performed first. Their set included their most popular song, “Harlem”, as well as other singles like “Tonight You’re Perfect”, “Everywhere I Go (Kings and Queens)”, and “Girl Crush”. This set had so much energy and it was a lot of fun watching the band perform. David Boyd, the band’s lead singer, showed off a bunch of his dance moves. He was also really sweaty and ended up shirtless by the time the last song was played, but I guess that’s what happens when you’re moving around a lot and exuding all that energy under those stage lights.

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Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness was up next and the set mixed in songs from the debut album along with past songs that Andrew has performed as part of Something Corporate and Jack’s Mannequin, like “Punk Rock Princess”, “Holiday From Real”, and “La La Lie”. The nostalgia was just too real and again, I am incredibly excited that I’m going to the anniversary concert.

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The penultimate song (as part of the encore) was “Cecilia and the Satellite” and these huge balloons were brought out into the audience and popped during the song, releasing a bunch of colorful confetti in the air. That was followed up by “Synesthesia”, from Andrew’s solo work, in which one of those parachute things that kids play with was brought out onto the audience. The song eventually culminated with it wrapped around Andrew’s body, but I just couldn’t help making comparisons to some kind of Disney villain like Jafar or Frollo when I saw it.

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With the concert over, I made the drive back to LA with good memories from the night.

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