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Jack’s Mannequin, Ace of Spades

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“One more song! One more song!” chanted Jack’s Mannequin fans at Ace of Spades on Wednesday night, that quickly turned into “Three more songs! Three more songs!”

Talk about an encore. Talk about a show.

“You feelin’ sexy Sacramento?” yelled Andrew McMahon, 28, lead vocalist and pianist of Jack’s Mannequin. He may be a security guard’s nightmare with all his crowd surfing and climbing on equipment such as, speakers and his piano; but he is also a ticket-buyer’s dream because he is quite the entertainer.

The show started at 7 p.m. with more than 800 people in attendance. Lady Danville, an indie pop band from the Bay Area was up first, and Steel Train, an indie rock band from New Jersey, followed. Lady Danville’s singers had a very smooth and crisp sound to their voices with great harmonization, while Steel Train had a more rebellious, energetic and cutting-edge sound.

The lighting and sound were not over done, a little color with spotlights and the speakers were not blasting at an ear-bleeding level. Allowing the focus to be on the pure and organic sounds of the voices and instruments.

Tickets were $30.95, and judging by the smiles flooding the room even after the first two performers, people were satisfied with what they were getting.

However, the crowd was only swaying some and clapping when encouraged, having a medium energy level up until Jack’s Mannequin played the hit, “The Mixed Tape,” from the CD, “Everything In Transit.” Everyone went wild, jumping a bit and singing along loudly. Which continued as most of what was played was from that album.

McMahon was originally from Orange County and part of a band called Something Corporate. Now he is a part of Jack’s Mannequin, an alternative punk rock band with three other members: Bobby "Raw" Anderson on guitar and backup vocals, Jay McMillan on drums and new bass player Mikey “The Kid” Wagner.

“I’ve been listening to them for a while,” said concert attendee Tracey Huey, 22. “They have really good melodies.”

The musicians also got praise for several other areas that fans feel they have much expertise in.

“I really like the lyrics,” said concert attendee Elisia Hoffman, 18, as she turned to her friend, Lisa Monagle, also 18, who said, “(McMahon) incorporates the piano with a ‘normal band’ sound, and I like that.”

Most audience members were between the ages of 18 and 30 and excited that Jack’s Mannequin is now finally back on tour.

In June 2005, McMahon was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (cancer of the white blood cells) and somehow managed to make a full recovery. He is also now currently involved in many fundraising opportunities related to cancer and provides support to patients and families.

“His back story is cool, how he had leukemia and everything. It’s so inspirational,” Huey said.

By McMahon’s performance, it is obvious to see that he is living every moment to the fullest now.

Ace of Spades, the old location of both Empire Night Club and Venue, didn’t change much of its look and feel, and yet it appears to be the upcoming place to be and to get booked at in Sacramento. The place was packed and the atmosphere very casual and modern, despite the dim lights and boxy shape, it did not feel overcrowded.

The only downfalls to the venue is that there is very limited seating and that the servers had to walk out from a back room with food and drinks all the way around everyone, pushing through a sea of bodies to get to the 21-and-over section where they were serving it.

The service was very polite, though, and they even had some free samples of drinks they were serving to people in the audience, like red bull mixed with raspberry and cheery syrups.

Ace of Spades will no doubt be packed all summer if it stays booked up with performers like Lady Danville, Steel Train and Jack’s Mannequin.

Good lyrics, melodies, crazy talent on the piano and an inspirational story to boot – what’s not to like?

To get in on all the action and for more information about upcoming shows visit Ace of Spades online.

Or find everyone on Facebook:
Ace of Spades
Jack’s Mannequin
Lady Danville
Steel Train

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