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A World Without Color Is A World Without Love: Andrew McMahon’s New Friends Tour

On Friday night at Starland Ballroom in New Jersey, Denver indie-rock band Wildermiss set the stage for an unforgettable night. The trio played a handful of songs from their new album ‘Levitate’ that came out at the end of October. The performance was high-energy and exciting, leaving the audience ready for a night of dancing and singing with Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness.

A horizontal photography of Emma Cole from the band Wildermiss.
Emma Cole from Wildermiss, Photo by Holly Van Ness

Following Wildermiss, Michigander took the stage as the second supporting act and gave the crowd a chance to catch their breath (and maybe shed a few tears). Lead vocalist Jason Singer transitioned U2's 'Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For' into their own song, 'East Chicago, IN’ and it was musical perfection. The crowd sang along to the nostalgic lyrics and quieted down as Singer introduced his own verses.

A horizontal photo of the band Michigander taken from behind the crowd.
Michigander, Photo by Holly Van Ness

The main event unfolded with Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness, accompanied by a camping-themed set with a bright yellow tent, tall trees, and props like lanterns and flashlights. Even the crew joined in on the fun as his tour manager sported a park ranger costume and his tour photographer wore a skunk costume at one point, adding depth to the visual story.

A horizontal photo of Andrew McMahon moving through a crowd of fans.
Andrew McMahon with his tour manager and some fans, photo by Holly Van Ness

McMahon came in from the back of the crowd as opposed to the side of the stage. He stood between two fans for an intimate greeting before drawing attention to himself and moving through the crowd. He sat at a grand piano for most of the show, but occasionally stood up, walking back and forth to either side of the stage to engage with every fan possible. Sometimes he stood on top of the piano itself, encouraging the crowd to sing with him.

A horizontal photo of Andrew McMahon standing on a grand piano.
Andrew McMahon, photo by Holly Van Ness

The entire crowd was a vibrant tapestry of emotion. Couples held each other during love songs, friends sang to each other at the top of their lungs, and families danced together all night. I quickly realized that Andrew McMahon has a genuine and deep connection with his fans.

A horizontal photo of fans of Andrew McMahon at the barricade.
Fans at the barricade, photo by Holly Van Ness

Towards the end of the show, McMahon brought a fan on stage for a heartfelt duet and gave her the chance to shine. After that, he threw a llama raft into the crowd and stood on top of it as the crowd surfed him to both bars where he took a shot and then tossed the glass to a lucky fan.

A horizontal photo of Andrew McMahon riding an inflatable llama pool float and being crowd surfed by his fans.
Andrew McMahon and his llama, photo by Holly Van Ness

McMahon concluded the main setlist with his most popular song, ‘Cecilia And The Satellite,’ and even brought his young daughter, Cecilia, on stage to sing with him.

A horizontal photo of Andrew McMahon and his band taken from behind the crowd.
Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness, photo by Holly Van Ness

Beyond the music, Andrew McMahon reminded his fans of his philanthropic organization throughout the night. The Dear Jack Foundation is a foundation dedicated to support youth and adolescents grappling with cancer. McMahon founded the foundation 2006 after his own leukemia diagnosis and a donation spot could be found at the merch booth. You can also donate online here.

Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness is more than a performer. In a dark world, McMahon continues to unify and offer a sense of belonging. Through meaningful connections with those around you and music infused with hope, Andrew McMahon reminds us that a world without color is a world without love.

A photo of Andrew McMahon wearing a rainbow light-up cape.
Andrew McMahon, photo by Holly Van Ness

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