Andrew McMahon and Dashboard Confessional at Kemba Live! in Columbus, OH
The sixth stop on the Hello Gone Days Tour brought Dashboard Confessional, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, and Armor for Sleep to Columbus, OH.
Armor for Sleep was the perfect start for the evening. The crowd was energetic and it was hard to tell who fans were most excited to see, but many were already familiar with this opening act. Vocalist, Ben Jorgenson, was surprised by the number of people in the audience that cheered when asked if they knew their music. Many had been singing along already.
Their performance was 30 minutes, but you would have thought they had been onstage for hours. This band from New Jersey could not have prepared themselves for the blinding sunlight that shined directly onto the stage during the early evening. A pair of sunglasses helped, but the nearly 90-degree heat made it difficult for lead singer Ben Jorgensen to keep his on due to the amount of sweat he experienced. They powered through in support of their upcoming release next month entitled The Rain Museum.
“How far back are we allowed to go back in our catalog?” asked singer Chris Carrabba of Dashboard Confessional. The crowd welcomed the idea with cheers. By this time, the sun had moved below the venue. There was a comfortable breeze and some relief from the heat for everyone. A woman in the front row sang along to their first song, “The Brilliant Dance” so loudly it was hard to hear Carrabba.
Dashboard, as they are sometimes known, is one you don’t realize how hard they hit until you see the band live. For the somberness of some of the lyrics, the performance is actually high-energy. Drummer, Christopher Kamrada, was even afforded a drum solo before “Again I Go Unnoticed.” With four guitars on stage, they were an emotional tirade for the gentle soul.
The vocals were right on pitch and made it easy to recognize each song. Fans were moved to sing along. Chris opted to let them have each chorus rather than compete with them on “Saints and Sailors.” A preteen equipped with ear plugs in the VIP section watched her mother sing along to “Screaming Infidelities” with the rest of the audience.
As expected, the same girl and her mom traded spots at the end of the performance to some Andrew McMahon fans (probably being a school night), but they missed a heck of a show filled with songs from this and his two previous bands, Jack’s Mannequin and Something Corporate.
Andrew McMahon is a man with a piano but doesn’t seem like he wants to be. He was disrespectful to it. Covered with stickers, it obediently took the pounding of keys and dancing on the casing. Andrew can’t stay still. His energy is unstoppable. He moved and jumped like a pet that wants so desperately to be let outside.
He introduced “The Resolution” by mentioning how he is a cancer survivor. His lifestyle, if it is to be believed, consistent with his stage performance, is of a man who is grateful to be alive — enjoying every moment. An older man who wasn’t familiar with his music was turned into a cheering fan when Andrew crowd-surfed on his inflatable animal. Taking one last break from desecrating his piano, they covered The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven.”
At some points, the lights were intrusive like the air puff tonometry test at the optometrist but eventually lessened to allow the glorious sites of Andrew McMahon. The Hello Gone Days Tour brought one new song called “Stars” from Andrew McMahon, but the highlight of the show was when he was accompanied by his daughter Cecilia to sing “Cecilia and the Satellite.” Before the house lights came up and they moved on to their next show in Lafayette, NY, Andrew thanked everyone once again for helping him and his crew be able to get back on tour since the pandemic.