The man whose songs affect me at the core. Where his tours go, I’ll go.
My history with AG concerts goes back a few years. I happened to be at a fall festival concert where he was the opening act for Train, back in 2012. I left the show thinking more about Andy’s set than the headlining show.
Since, I’ve anticipated his album releases like they’re Christmas and traveled way over 3,000 miles to his concerts in the past years.
The rain is falling in Atlanta, GA outside of the Variety Playhouse. A line of eager fans begin at the marquee and wrap around the building.
Before long, the sold out crowd is filing into the Variety, around the stage. I take my place for the night and anticipate Andy’s set.
The British singer-songwriter, James TW primes the stage. Sweet songs fill his time with the crowd: “When You Love Someone,” “Please Keep Loving Me,” and “Ex.”
I meet fine folks from the area and my college town. One of my favorite things about the night was getting to express to someone new to his shows, just how authentic and present Andy would be.
As 9:30 approaches, Andy and his band fill the stage. The energy, unmatched. The celebration of a new album begins with a well-known song from his past album, “Good To Be Alive (Hallelujah).”
The lead man is clothed in a denim jacket and black skinny jeans but if you ask the crowd they might reply- a smile. Gratitude and giddiness overflow from Andy and his lively band.
The entire new album, The Good Parts, makes the setlist. Amidst the joy of sharing his new creation are the familiar, anthemic songs: “Fine By Me” and “Back Home.”
And the anthemic tune of all AG songs: “Keep Your Head Up.” A song written during his time as street performer in Los Angeles. Today I have been awaiting a response on whether or not I landed an internship that I have been hoping for. It has been a discouraging process. Andy sings the line, “Am I gonna turn out fine? Oh you’ll turn out fine,” he looks right in my direction. Fate? Probably not, but it’s what I need to hear and makes me smile.
Andy continues to express his need and desire to be real with the crowd. No doubt the man is one of the most creatively innovative songwriters of the present day, he shares a new outlet of writing: a poem.
Entitled “My Dad Does Not Care,” if this seems like a slant or a lament about a calloused father, it’s actually the opposite. Andy wittily expresses the love of his father that is concerned with his soul and his care for others, not his success- “see my father does not care about anything but my heart, he knows that wealth and worth have always been super far apart.”
In proper fashion, the show ends with “Honey, I’m Good” and “The Good Parts.”