Andrew McMahon said it best last night. “Leave your problems on the other side of that door!” he said as he pointed towards the doors of First Avenue.

Yesterday was a bad day at work. It was one of those days where nothing went right and I couldn’t catch my breath. Hell, the past couple of days have been rough. After seeing yet another friend of mine get married, I started to realize that I’m just kind of winging this whole “adult” thing and I’m starting to feel like I have completely failed.

“Leave your problems on the other side of that door!”

That’s exactly what I did last night and it was better than any therapy that money can buy.

The show started off with a bang. The opener was Lolo and she had majority of the crowd absolutely stunned and with their jaws on the floor (myself included). Lolo has a voice that gives you goosebumps. It’s so damn powerful that she doesn’t need a huge backing band to give her an edge. It was just her, a computer, and a guitarist and it was perfect. Unfortunately, she was only on stage for about twenty minutes. I swear I could have watched this chick all night. If you need a good soulful soundtrack for your day, make sure you check her out. Mark my words, there are huge things to come from Lolo.

It was tough to follow Lolo’s set but The Griswolds did their best to keep up. These guys are one of the newer sensations to come out of Australia and they have already established themselves here in the Twin Cities after playing multiple shows in the past couple of years including opening for Walk The Moon. They have a sound that sounds like Vampire Weekend combined with MGMT. They were probably the most raw sounding band of the night and I mean that in the best way. After the soothing, yet powerful, sound of Lolo, The Griswolds were perfect to get the crowd going for what was about to come next.

I was not ready for what came next. I had heard things about New Politics’ live show but come on, I’ve seen pretty much everything and a live show is a live show. As long as you make me feel something, I will love your live set. New Politics left me stunned. I had heard their music before and yeah, it was good and catchy, but I never obsessed over it like I do with so many other bands. That all changed last night.

The music was great. They played all of the songs I wanted to hear along with some off of their new album Vikings which is currently on repeat at my desk. Almost every song they played was upbeat and made you want to dance. Even during “Stardust”, their slow ballad played on the piano, you could still feel the electric energy throughout the, damn near sold out, crowd. Each song sounded perfect, just like on their recordings only better and played with more feeling.

Singer David Boyd never stopped. The amount of stamina this guy has is absolutely unreal. Not only was he singing and nailing pretty much every single note, he was breakdancing, he was flipping, he was jumping, he was doing absolutely everything. I was exhausted just watching him. This definitely added to the energy of the whole venue. Everyone was waiting to see what he was going to do next. Was he going to jump onto the bass drum again? Maybe go into the crowd again? End the song in a headstand? Not only did it keep it interesting and entertaining. It made them memorable. Call it a gimmick if you want but I think it’s more than that.

How was anyone going to be able to follow New Politics’ amazing set? New Politics had won me over and it would be hard as hell to beat that. Honestly, I think it would be impossible to follow that set but if anyone was going to do it, it would be Andrew McMahon.

Andrew McMahon is a God among men. Okay, maybe that’s a little overkill but seriously. The amount of talent this guy has is unreal. He was the singer of Something Corporate, Jack’s Mannequin, and most recently, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness. Each one of those bands is amazing but Something Corporate is, by far, my favorite group of his.

I went into last night thinking I could sneak out early after a couple of songs. I mean, I love Andrew McMahon but his new music really doesn’t do it for me. Then the set started and I caught myself singing along by the second song. This was weird, I really hadn’t paid much attention to his new stuff other than the single on the radio. How did I know this song?!

And then it hit me, he was playing Jack’s Mannequin songs. A couple songs in and then I heard some of my teenage anthems from Something Corporate. The last thing I had expected was to see Andrew McMahon play these songs that I hadn’t heard since I was an angsty teen. He did the unexpected, and although you really couldn’t match the energy of New Politics, he held his own and did not let me down or let New Politics completely leave him in the dust.

Andrew McMahon played for right around an hour and a half. It was new song after old song, after new, etc. It was such a good mix of different projects’ of his and new and old songs. He even did a “lounge rendition” of Punk Rock Princess  which came out in the early 2000’s. Hearing that song, although it was calmed down quite about stylistically, instantly took me back to high school and me obsessing over the 2004 Warped Tour Live DVD that I had. I used to replay the segment that showed Something Corporate playing this song over and over again. It was a dream come true to see it live last night.

Andrew McMahon’s whole set was amazing. The band was great. The vocals were great. Being able to see McMahon jam on the piano while singing beautiful words made my heart and soul happy.

Yesterday was a bad day for me. It’s been a rough couple of days to be honest. I left my problems outside of the doors at First Avenue last night and forgot about everything. It was just me, my family, and the music.

That, right there, is why I go to a show every night.

Dear New Politics, you’ve done it. You have earned yourselves a spot in my top ten live bands of all time and that truly is saying something!

Line Up:


The Griswolds

New Politics

Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness

Venue- First Avenue

Sausage Fest Meter-  -4 out of 10

Broken Bones/ Injuries- None

Average Age- 25?

Crowd Surfers- None

Spotted Flying Through The Sky- Andrew McMahon threw fortune cookies out to the crowd; drumsticks and guitar picks

Shout Outs- Shout out to the girl who was standing next to me who complimented me on my Bayside shirt and then proceeded to compliment me on how “balanced” my facial piercings look.