Playing Deep Into The Night

As always, the city of Toronto was crawling on Tuesday night.  Sports fans trying to get places to watch their beloved Leafs and Raptors play.  There were shoppers invading the Toronto Eaton Centre.  And there were pedestrians crawling the street in an effort to get home after a grueling day of work.  But what most of these individuals didn’t know was that in the Southern part of the city there was a gathering – a gathering of very different people who shared one common interest.

Jack’s Mannequin serenaded the many who showed up at The Sound Academy with songs of old and new.

It was clear that the fans enjoyed the music from Allen Stone and Jukebox the Ghost which led up to the headlining band, but the atmosphere changed the second the four members of Jack’s Mannequin took to the stage.

The cheers were loud, but the respect for the music and those who wrote it was louder.

Jack’s frontman, Andrew McMahon, recognized this hype by saying the crowd was “jacked up in all the right ways” in Toronto.

As a spectator I could see the strength of the relationship between the band members.  There is an obvious connection that boils over into their music.  Often music is criticized for its sound by those who enjoy other genres.  But standing amongst all those other Jack’s fans – shoulders rubbing – there was a sense of unity within the four walls of the small, intimate venue.

Each string strummed, and each lyric sung resonated some kind of meaning.  Whether it was a song about the cold or warm weather of California, or McMahon’s battle with cancer the emotion delivered with each syllable of his words was echoed throughout the crowd.

What made this concert so exhilarating though was the passion McMahon played with.  It was as if he was playing each song for the first time.  Whether he was signing with his eyes closed and head turned towards the ceiling or starring out to the crowd below him each song delivered a message to the crowd.

This was us getting a ‘Holiday from Real.’

By the end of the night, as the band finished their third encore song, one thing was clear.  No matter where they are from (California-based in this case) they are always welcome amongst the Canadian music fans.

Setlist from The Sound Academy, Toronto:

  • Release Me
  • The Mixed Tape
  • Annie Use Your Telescope
  • Spinning
  • Hey Hey Hey (We’re All Gonna Die)
  • Holiday From Real
  • Amy, I
  • Kill The Messenger
  • The Resolution
  • Casting Lines
  • Bloodshot
  • Television
  • Last Straw
  • Swim
  • Bruised
  • My Racing Thoughts
  • Dark Blue


  • Restless Dream
  • Hammers and Strings (A Lullaby)
  • La La Lie

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