After several days of over 100 degree weather, Charlestonians looked to cool off to the blissfully light and lucid musical stylings of Andrew McMahon Into The Wilderness. Andrew brought his tour to the historic Charleston Music Hall and delivered a vividly colorful performance.
Flor opened the show. The California based three-piece rocked the crowd with crunchy tunes that almost dripped with the golden light of the sunshine state. Zach Grace (lead vocals, guitar, keyboard), Val Hoyt (guitar), and Kyle Hill (drums) energetically performed, sparing no part of the large stage. Their setlist mostly consisted of songs from their latest album, 2022’s Future Shine, but they also performed “Dancing Around” from the album Ley Lines (2019). Zach Robert Plant-esqe bounced majestically, as he laid down licks on his Fender or moved his fingers around his keys. Val took to the front of the stage on several occasions to absolutely shred, really playing it up for the crowd. Flor closed out their set with the song “Hold On”, a hit from their first album Come out. You’re Hiding (2018).
Andrew McMahon, strolled out on stage equipped with a massive music box tricked out with blue LEDs. As he spun the handle on the side, it played an interesting melody. It was like something straight out of a carnival. He later explained that he meant to program one of his songs into the box, but it failed to take. Andrew smiled and took his seat behind his piano as Bobby “Raw” Anderson (lead guitar), Mikey “The Kid” Wagner (bass,keys), and Jay McMillian (drums) filed in behind him. The opening song “Nobody Tells You When You’re Young” from the 2023 album Tilt At The Wind No More informed the crowd what they were in for and highlighted Andrew’s astonishingly relatable lyrical narratives.
The show continued with “The Mixed Tape” , a bit of a throwback from Andrew’s former project Jack's Mannequin. The song, off of the 2005 album Everything In Transit, shifted the energy in the room with its faster pace and punk rock attitude, but also showcased Andrew’s deep lyrical well.
Andrew McMahon continued to put on an exciting and energetic performance., jumping from atop his piano and strutting across the stage. At one point, a stage hand wrapped him in an LED cloak like James Brown.
When Andrew performed the song “Fire Escape” from 2017’s Zombies On Broadway, the crowd lost it instantly, turning the hall into a giant singalong. Andrew smiled and prompted the crowd to participate on the booming chorus.
Andrew served up hit after hit, and the encore “Cecilia And The Satellite” from 2014’s Andrew In The Wilderness was the perfect dessert. Like a colorful sherbert.
The show was fast, animated, and a ton of fun. It was like watching a pop art painting come to life. The well crafted lyrics, combined with the approachably poppy sound, created an effervescent feeling like getting day drunk on great champagne when the weather is perfect.