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Andrew McMahon surprises fans and reunites with Something Corporate in Anaheim

Singer-songwriter and Orange County native Andrew McMahon has a lot to celebrate.

His band, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, just wrapped up the Hello Gone Days co-headlining tour with Dashboard Confessional. Though McMahon officially turned 40 while out on the road on Sept. 3, he returned home to throw a birthday bash with openers The Juliana Theory and hundreds of his closest friends and family at House of Blues Anaheim.

“It seems like the most appropriate place to do it,” McMahon said during an interview backstage at the show on Friday night.

Though it was McMahon’s birthday, he actually had a few surprises for the fans that showed up to the more loosely formatted concert that covered songs from the solo Wilderness project, as well as selections from his earlier rock bands Jack’s Mannequin and Something Corporate.

Midway through his set on Friday night, McMahon played a more mellow, piano-driven version of Something Corporate’s 2002 hit, “Punk Rock Princess.” As the song finished, his Wilderness bandmates exited the stage and four familiar faces joined McMahon. He brought out his original Something Corporate cohorts — bassist Kevin Page, drummer Brian Ireland and guitarists Josh Partington and William Tell — to play “Konstantine,” “Fall,” “Hurricane,” “Straw Dog” and “Woke Up In a Car” off 2002’s “Leaving Through the Window” and “She Paints Me Blue” off of  2003’s “North.” The guys ripped through the songs as if no time had passed and the crowd loudly sang every word.

“This is a trip for me,” McMahon said on stage, getting a little choked up as he talked about the special connection these men shared. “We all went to high school together … we were just kids in Orange County playing music together.”

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