Crowd calls 'Jack' back for encore
With ears ringing from 90 minutes of electronic piano, guitar, bass and drums, a crowd of approximately 1,500 students filtered out of the College Avenue Gym Wednesday night after the Jack's Mannequin concert.
Sponsored by the Rutgers University Programming Association, the show turned out to be a piano-stomping, stool-tossing hit.
"I think it was probably one of my favorite concerts ever," said Matt Loving, a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore. "[Andrew McMahon] was so into the music. You don't see that very often. … But that was awesome."
Song by song the crowd cheered on singer/songwriter McMahon and his band as chords began turning out from the amps.
"Alright, Rutgers, don't be afraid to dance," McMahon said to the crowd between songs.
McMahon performed songs from both "Everything in Transit" and "The Glass Passenger," including favorites "Dark Blue," "The Mix Tape" and "Swim."
"His energy on stage is like no other," said Steve Murray, a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore.
The positive reception of McMahon's music was an important reason in bringing Jack's Mannequin to the University. The idea to stay positive through good times and bad could be interpreted well by students.
"I really feel that they are not just popular around here, but they have a good message that they bring with them also," said Vice President of RUPA's music committee Roselyn Jose. "I thought it was a good message to bring to campus. I think a lot of people are touched by his music and I thought that was important to bring in."
Plans for the show began last semester, and the band was booked by June through Concert Ideas booking agency, she said.
McMahon said coming to the University was a personal point of interest.
"I made a point [to play at colleges] probably since the second Something Corporate album broke. It became an effort of ours," he said. "When you end up doing the college gig, it's a more affordable show and it becomes a campus event, and in that sense, it gives us an opportunity to reach out to people who are online and talk a lot, and that's good for our base."
Because RUPA operates under the Department of Student Life, the show was made possible through student fees. RUPA would not disclose the actual cost of the show, Jose said.
"It was really great. All of our hard work paid off and Andrew was really glad to be here. He told me himself," said Jose, a Rutgers College senior.
As icing on the cake, the band returned for a three song encore, ending with a rocking cover of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' "American Girl."
"This one is for all the Jersey girls," McMahon said before starting the song.
The crowd went wild. When he jumped off stage and nearly into the crowd, security guards rushed to the barricade between stage and floor to keep the screaming students from pulling him over.
By the end of the night, many thought McMahon lived up to his expectations.
"Our goal when we go out to play shows is just to play well, to give a good, entertaining rock show, to give people a good rock concert. To try and conceptualize too far beyond that is a step away from what rock music is to begin with," McMahon said. "We don't try to over think it. Everyone just plugs in and hopefully people are dancing and having a good time, and it's all said and done."