Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness is making their way through the U.S. on the “Upside Down Flowers Tour” with support from Grizfolk and Flor. The tour is in celebration of the new album “Upside Down Flowers”. We went out to catch the Philadelphia, PA show at the Metropolitan Opera House and it was visually one of the best shows I’ve seen this year.
Opening up the night was Grizfolk, an alternative rock band based in Los Angeles. Grizfolk walked on stage to a background of beach themed objects covered in canvas with captions such as “No Peeing” or “Lifeguard off duty”. The band had some songs that gave off a softer, beachy vibe- perfect for the theme of the stage. They got the crowd started with hits such as “Into the Barrens”, “Troublemaker”, and “Hymnals”.
Taking the stage next was Flor, and Indie band from Oregon. Flor took command of the stage and really got people moving. Lead vocalist Zach Grace stood behind his keyboard, but that didn’t stop him from venturing out across the stage often, dancing and spinning around with his guitar. All in all, this was a very enjoyable part of the set.
After Flor, it was time for Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness to come out. The lights dimmed and turned out, with nothing but a few single lights to help illuminate bits of the stage. Band members slowly emerged from behind the curtains dressed like they were ready for a beach party, and with props such as a long pool stick cleaner. The piano for “Everything Must Go” started, and you could hear Andrew McMahon’s voice, but where was he? There was no piano, or Andrew, in sight. Finally, a part of the set under the keyboard player swung open to reveal a hidden area underneath where Andrew and the piano were hiding. He was wheeled out while playing and the entire room roared with excitement. From there on out it was non-stop dancing, head bopping, and singing from everyone in the room.
Andrew is a fantastic storyteller as heard both through his on stage banter and his lyrics. He told quite a few anecdotes before songs such as “Crashin’” and “Monday Flowers”. As most fans know, Andrew McMahon has had several projects over the years including Something Corporate and Jack’s Mannequin. Being under the name Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness certainly hasn’t stopped him from performing songs from previous eras of his life. This included “The Mixed Tape”, “Punk Rock Princess”, and “Swim” to name a few. These parts of the set immediately immersed me in a wave of nostalgia as fans of all ages grabbed each other in excitement. The amount of energy and passion from the musicians on stage, as well as the audience, was euphoric.
Without giving too much away, the end of Andrew’s set was some of the most fun and most I’ve ever seen from him visually at a show. I was really blown away by the huge amounts of effort that have been made to step up the live experience that he gives fans. If you have the chance to catch this tour in your city I can’t recommend it enough! You won’t want to miss this one.
Nicole DiBenedetto is a photographer based out of New Jersey. She likes making new friends and meeting new people so catch her out in the pit and say hi!