There were a lot of difficult decisions I had to make Thursday night. Decision 1: brave the cold, rainy weather which had ridiculously appeared after a previous hot day (Seriously, I went from shorts to winter coat in a day). I decided to brave the weather. At the venue the next Decision 2Â was a little trickier, haha: attend Tech N9ne upstairs or Jack’s Mannequin in the basement.
I chose Jack’s Mannequin. I know that I may have disappointed some with that decision, but since Tech and I are bffs from our encounter at the Snoop Dogg concert this summer (Ok, so we’re not really bffs, but I did meet him this summer at that concert) andÂ Jack’s Mannequin is a little more my speed, I chose the basement.
Oops, how did that pic get in here? Haha. Ok, silliness aside, my review continued:
For those who have never been to Omaha, which is probably almost everybody because I think most people are generally surprised to hear that things like shows would even occur in a place like, gasp, Nebraska, I may need to describe the venue. The show took place in Sokol Underground, which is basically a tiny black box of a room underneath an old gymnasium. The capacity, I believe, is about 315, so I cannot stress enough the intimacy of the show. The show quickly sold out even with the steep ticket prices, but it was worth it to see Jack’s Mannequin in such a tiny place whenÂ Andrew McMahon could have easily sold out a crowd ten times that size. I was surprised to see a barricade set up in the venue because I had never seen one in there before, although you could still get incredibly close to the stage.
Chicago group Treaty of Paris opened the show. They’ve been to Omaha a lot and have quite a following, but I’ve always had mixed feelings toward them. Tonight, though, I finally fell in love. They were asked to play the show acoustic, which I actually liked better, especially for the voice of Mike Chorvat. However, for those of you who are huge fans of TOP plugged in, do not worry, they still rocked and I think they managed to go up to eleven on acoustic. Their guitarists reallyÂ areÂ some of the best in the business, managing to do things on acoustic that I wouldn’t have thought possible. All of the guys had great movement and the crowd loved every time Chorvat came out toward them to shake hands.
The best part of their set was the kazoo solo on “New Improved.” I guess they just felt like there needed to be more kazoos in rock music. They thought right.
Waking Up the Dead
Here Goes Nothing
I’ll Come Back
Following TOP was a band I was most curious to see: FUN. It was only their second day on tour so I didn’t really know what to expect. Judging from the members’ histories (FUN is the new project of members from Anathallo, Steel Train and one of my favorites, The Format), I should have expected awesomeness and well, fun.
It was actually quite amusing to watch as the audience nodded along to the first two songs, not really sure why everything sounded vaguely familiar, but Nate Ruess‘ voice is so distinctive, there was no way for this to not have a strong resemblance to the Format. The first song was one about paranoia. They second one was a little more optimistic, but still a lyrical downer if you really thought about. The chorus said something along the lines of “At least I’m not as bad as I was,” further cementing Ruess’ ability to juxtapose cheery instrumentation with his emotionally down-trodden lyrics.
By the third song, the audience finally recognized the voice. It helped that the third song was an acoustic variation of one of my favorite Format singles, “The First Single”, which was followed by another knew song and “She Doesn’t Get It”, also by the Format.
The crowd and the band had a blast as FUN covered Dexys Midnight Runners‘ “Come On, Eileen,” which was a fitting choice for Ruess voice and because they had both a keyboard and violinist. Although, as much as I appreciate violins, the violinist was not confident and thus she produced a weak and elementary sound. Perhaps when she feels brave enough to emerge from behind the music stand, she’ll be a little more confident.
The set closed with the hymn-like “Benson Hedges,” the one demo that is on FUN’s MySpace page. The new album is expected next spring, so get on the FUN bandwagon now. Trust me, this album will be good.
The First Single
She Doesn’t Get It
Come On Eileen
Finally, it was time for Jack’s Mannequin. I’ve been through a lot to see this band, like driving through blizzards, but every time it has been worth it. McMahon is one of the most energetic pianists I’ve ever seen. The guy does not sit still. This night was no different, he jumping up and down, standing on the piano and closing the show, stomping on the keys. The crowd loved him, but what they seemed to love more was his mustache, which he was now sporting for the second night in a row. IÂ believe he had a beard prior to this.Â The thing seemed to have a life of its own, which he commented on countless times. He also acknowledged that it made him look like a porn star. I was initially repulsed by the ‘stache, but by the end of the night it was hard to remember the other six times I’ve seen him without it.
The set consisted of mostly songs off the new album, The Glass Passenger, but the crowd didn’t seem to mind. Some of the classic Everything In Transit Songs were there like “Dark Blue” and “Bruised” and everybody rocked equally as hard to those.
The real hit of the evening seemed to be “Bloodshot,” which letÂ McMahon come out from behind the keys and dance with the crowd.
After an incredibly fun set, the band came back out for their “encore,” which McMahon said was a bit of joke because it wasn’t like anybody was actually surprised by an encore anymore. What did surprise was that the band played not just one or two songs as is expected by an encore, but five. The started with Glass Passenger b-side “Miss California” followed by the current single “The Resolution.”
“Since we don’t play “Konstantine” anymore, we like to play a song by a man that rhymes with ‘Konstantine’: Bruce Springsteen,” said McMahon before jumping into a cover “I’m on Fire”. The cover was great, but I’m not going to lie I was kind of hoping for the MGMT cover of “Kids” that he’s been doing at a few shows, too, but I’m just greedy. They obliged the crowd with Something Corporate‘s “Cavanaugh Park” and closed out the set with a kick ass “La La Lie” that made everybody feel like they really were friends with McMahon. TOP joined Jack’s Mannequin for this song as well and it turned the finale into a huge party.
The Mixed Tape
Holiday From Real
Annie Use Your Telescope
Hammers and Strings
I’m On Fire (Bruce Springsteen cover)
La La Lie
Written by: Bethany