By Michael Cerio
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — There’s a big show headed to BB&T Pavilion on Tuesday July 5th, as Weezer and Panic! At The Disco bring their pop punk stylings to Camden, NJ for their Summer Tour 2016.
You’ll want to wrap up your tailgate early though, because perhaps lost in the bright lights of the headliners has been that Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness is opening the evening.
“Truthfully we’re just so grateful to be on the bill,” laughs McMahon over the phone from a tour stop in Massachusetts. “It’s been so much fun that we don’t mind being the sleeper hit on the tour here.”
Much like the tour’s top-liner, McMahon has seen his share of stages and phases – but as several that hit around the time of his first success with the band Something Corporate have survived by trading on nostalgia, he’s evolved into new successful projects like his band Jack’s Mannequin, and now his work with Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness.
“I think I just have never been willing to settle for the idea that what I did last was best,” says McMahon. “I think it’s when bands stop believing that they’re relevant and start living in the past that they lose the chance to be relevant. I’ve fought my whole career to listen to what’s out and to find inspiration in modern music, and I think that’s the most important thing to do if you’re an artist in any field – is to keep pushing forward.”
Pushing forward is another thing that Andrew McMahon has in common with his tourmates Weezer – a beloved band that has navigated waves of criticism over the course of a career for music that didn’t fit with what some fans hoped for. However, their latest release is a welcomed return back to their basics that started a musical movement over twenty years ago. It’s something that’s been exciting to watch for McMahon as they travel across the country together.
“The really cool thing about watching them – for me as a fan who’s followed every stage of their careers – this new record’s amazing. It’s a fantastic album and it in a lot of senses speaks to what so many of us fell in love with Weezer for in the early days,” explains McMahon. “I think it’s kind of nice at this moment with this record coming through and a whole new generation of people realizing how amazing they are – to have that on a stage and to be able to open for it nightly is pretty amazing.”
In addition to this summer’s tour, Andrew McMahon has been focused on his Dear Jack Foundation which helps adolescents diagnosed with cancer. Started after his own leukemia diagnosis at 23, Dear Jack has raised funds, created awareness, and even developed programs for this under-served group.
“Dear Jack is an organization that I started to help fund charities and projects that speak directly to initiatives for adolescents and young adults,” McMahon describes.
The foundation is currently hosting a huge fundraising drive called the 100K challenge, where they hope to raise $100,000 between now and November 11th.
“Any campaign that raises $7,500 dollars or more is entered to win a private living room concert for them and twenty of their friends,” McMahon adds. “I’ll fly into wherever you live and we’ll rent a piano and give you a show in your house.”
Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness play Tuesday July 5th at BB&T Pavilion. To hear more from McMahon, check out the full interview below. To help with The Dear Jack Foundation and their 100K challenge visit them here.