The first time I finally saw Jack’s Mannequin perform live, it was 2009 at Rams Head Live and I was a few months shy of 16. I was wearing the same worn-down olive green canvas jacket I wore to every show as a teenager, a water main had flooded part of Baltimore and I was feeling particularly stressed about a paper I had due in American Lit.
I’ve since misplaced the jacket and now have more adult worries contributing to my perpetual anxieties. But, in many ways I felt like the same confused-yet-hopeful adolescent I was then when walking into the 9:30 Club this past Wednesday night. The occasion was a sold-out stop of a 10-year anniversary tour celebrating Jack’s Mannequin’s debut album, “Everything in Transit.”
At 22 years of age, ten years feels like an awful long time. But that’s how long the words from “Everything in Transit” have been running through my head.
I’ve loved so much music in my life, but only a handful of albums have truly stayed with me. “Everything in Transit” tops that list. Unlike the songs I listen to in nostalgia trying to recapture a feeling, there’s something about EiT that makes it feel like the songs have grown up with me.
Maybe it’s because I’m finally the same age as Andrew McMahon when he wrote the album that the songs especially resonate with me today. Or, more likely, it’s a testament to his power as a storyteller that the songs only seem to grow in meaning instead of fading into the background
Ten years later, and Andrew McMahon is still chasing his dreams, sharing his music with the world. And ten years later, I’m still singing along to every word.
Moments in my life like this give me a thing that tends to get lost amongst the chaos of everyday struggle. That thing is hope.
“Is it possible for the world to look this way forever?” is a question posed in one of my favorite songs of the album. To answer: I hope it is.