Jack's Mannequin @ The Ogden Theatre, 1/22/16
I’ve been to my fair share of ten year anniversary shows in the past couple of years, as it seems that some of my favorite albums are starting to hit that decade mark, but nothing compares to the emotional performance from Jack’s Mannequin at The Ogden Theatre in Denver this Friday night for their Everything In Transit ten year anniversary tour. When the small, ten city tour was announced back in November with a Colorado date on the list, it was no surprise that the date sold out almost immediately, and thankfully, the show absolutely lived up to my (and likely everyone else’s) high expectations.
Opening the show was She Is We, and the energy on stage was palpable. Thought the production was nowhere near as intricate or stunning as Jack’s Mannequin’s proved to be later in the night, the group seemed to have the full attention of the majority of the audience for most of their set. The single opening act provided a great start to the night, getting concert goers excited for the main act without taking away from the reason why most of the people in the crowd were there. It was actually nice that there was only one opening band, as it was obvious that The Ogden was mostly filled with fans ready to sing their hearts out with Jack’s Mannequin - any other opening acts wouldn’t have been able to demand the attention of the crowd quite as much as She Is We frontwoman, Rachel Taylor.
Just a little after 9PM, though, the lights began to dim, the crowd roared in excitement, and it was obvious why everyone was there - to see one of their favorite albums performed in it’s entirety. For some fans, it was quite possibly their first time hearing Everything In Transit played live (or even seeing Jack’s Mannequin live, for that matter) and for others, it was a time to sing their hearts out and relive their younger years. Without skipping a beat, the band played hit after hit from their 2005 release, and despite the fact that it was all played in order, fans screamed in excitement when the first notes to favorite songs, such as “The Mixed Tape” or “Dark Blue” rang out in the Theatre.
One of the highlights of the night was when the band brought a group of fans on stage to sing along with “La La Lie.” Fans were able to bid for a spot on stage by donating to frontman Andrew McMahon’s Dear Jack Foundation, and the amount of love between these special fans and McMahon was obvious, even from the back of the crowd. Confetti exploded over the crowd during the band’s huge performance of “MFEO,” then the spoken word recording at the end of the record played before the band took the stage to play Everything In Transit’s final track, “Into The Airwaves.” But that (thankfully) wasn’t the end of the night. Following the entire playthrough of Everything In Transit, Jack’s Mannequin stuck around to play another seven songs, plus a three song encore, and every moment was flawless.
Emotions ran high as McMahon encouraged fans to sign up to become bone marrow donors at the booth in the back of the venue, and after his speech, it was hard not to miss a few members of the crowd heading in that direction. Another highlight was McMahon’s emotional tribute to David Bowie as he played the singer’s track, “Life On Mars.” But quite possibly the best moment of the night for me was when the first notes of “Hammers And Strings (A Lullaby)” rang out over the crowd. I’ll admit, I tend to cheat when it comes to concerts, and will look up an artist’s setlist before the show, just so I know what to expect, but Jack’s Mannequin shook things up from their previous two performances of the tour at the Denver date and thankfully, I was able to sing along with one of my favorite songs during the band’s encore. The night ended on a high note, much to the enjoyment of the crowd, when the band closed out with “The Resolution.” Though there are only seven dates left on the Ten Years In Transit tour, it’s safe to say that each and every one of them will be just as incredible as the show at The Ogden Theatre. If you were lucky enough to snag some tickets, you’re in for a real treat.