Photo courtesy of

By SARAH LEWIS, Editor-in-Chief

Photo courtesy of

This past weekend I went to a concert with one of my best friends, Savannah, The Michigan Journal’s own Copy Editor, actually. If you’re anything like me, you’re probably dirt poor and going to concerts is a HUGE DEAL.

Naturally, since I’m broke as hell I can’t afford to go see someone perform unless I am absolutely obsessed with them. Unless I know every single word and note of every single song they sing. Unless I know every physical aspect of the artist, from their adorable crooked teeth to their colored tattoos. Unless I know this artist so well I can be dead asleep and feel them update their twitter…

Even though my Copy Editor and I have only been attached at the hip for about a year, we happen to be completely enamored with the one and absolute only, Andrew McMahon from Something Corporate and Jack’s Mannequin. Honestly, if you don’t like this kind of music, I won’t blame you if you don’t want to read on, but I promise there will be a universal theme for those of you who prefer gangsta rap to piano rock.

So if you know absolutely nothing about Andrew McMahon and have decided to keep reading, I like you. Andrew was the lead singer/pianist in the aforementioned bands and recently he started solo touring. He’s a cancer survivor, and as cheesy as it sounds his music undoubtedly saved my life.

Struggling with loss of loved ones and depression caused me to have a rather rough five years, and whenever I was at my lowest, this music always had a way to pull me out of it. Now here’s the universal theme I promised…music, whatever the type, can change your life.

This concert we went to was at St. Andrew’s Hall in Detroit, which is a tiny venue of standing General Admission. Basically this means you get close to the stage depending on how much of a visceral linebacker you can be. Thankfully, Savannah and I were able to use our brute strength to get about twenty feet away from Andrew.

Once his set started, I sort of stood there in awe. I couldn’t believe I was so close to the person whose music impacted me so much. I’ll admit that I cried not once but TWICE during his set. Hammers and Strings (A Lullaby) and Konstantine, but come on, everyone was weeping during Konstantine.

I think that was the most beautiful thing about that little venue. The performer I was there to see made eye contact with me a few times during the night. How is that for an experience? But when I looked around at all the other people singing every word to every single song and realized that this music meant as much to all of them as it meant to me. Even though we were all strangers…

If you’re going through a hard time, don’t be ashamed or give up. Trust me, music can pull you out of hard times when it feels like nothing else can. If you can’t afford a concert, I’m sure a pair of cheap headphones would suffice. Let the music fix you, and remember there are plenty of other people out there who have invested in a little bit of music therapy.

Andrew McMahon isn’t just my favorite artist. Andrew McMahon is a friend of mine.