Jack’s Mannequin kick off their “Hammers & Strings” tour in Atlanta

You have to get to a Jack’s Mannequin show early if you want to see anything.

By 7:30 on Tuesday night, the crowd at The Loft stretched from the metal barricade around the stage all the way back to the side bar, a good 25 feet.  They stayed packed in, through the opening bands, through the extensive time it took to get the stage set up, and even at the end of the night, after the last encore song, they were reluctant to leave.Jacks_mannequin_2

The devotion inspired by the band, originally begun by Something Corporate‘s Andrew McMahon as a side project, is well-deserved. McMahon knows how to put on a show.  He played his piano sitting, standing, singing, with one hand in the air, or holding a microphone; he stalked the tiny stage, reaching over the barrier to touch the upheld hands of the first row.  At times, he did all of this within the course of one song.  The energy level was as high as you would expect on the first night of tour, just two weeks after the successful release of the band’s new album, The Glass Passenger.

The songs from their first album, Everything in Transit, were clearly the crowd favorites.  But they knew the new ones as well, and sang along almost as loud.  Those of us standing towards the back craned our necks to see.  And come 11:30, the show was over but the night was not, as fans crowded around the door to the backstage, hoping for one more glimpse of the charismatic frontman. –Alexandra Edwards

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