Written by James Dillon
Sep 01, 2007 at 08:00 PM
ImageOf all of the late nineties pop stars; Mandy Moore is one of the few that I find respectable. Her face isn’t seen on tabloid magazine covers, Fox News hasn’t had around the clock coverage of her controversies, and she hasn’t revealed herself to prove that she’s “grown up”. Keeping all that in mind, it isn’t surprising the number of young fans that turned up at the Verizon Wireless Theatre on the first of September.

I was reminded that Mandy Moore started out as a singer when I saw that she was coming to town. The past few years have seen her doing more acting than singing, but she is back with a new album, Wild Hope, and a tour to show off the new songs.

The moment I arrived to the theatre, I realized the night’s event would be slightly different than the shows I am used to attending. First of all, Verizon lacked a line outside, and once inside the venue it was extremely quiet. The Verizon was set up in what they call their “Club V”. Tables and chairs were set up to give a more intimate feel, though a large group stood at stage, waiting for the night’s performance to begin.

The night’s opener was Rachael Yamagata, a singer-songwriter from Chicago.
Luckily she only played for around forty-five minutes. Had she played any longer and I think everyone in attendance would have been too depressed to stick around for Moore. In between songs the mood was lightened, though Yamagata hinted that she didn’t want people to laugh at what she had to say.
Apparently it’s inappropriate to sing depressing songs and make people laugh at the same time.

Once the set was finished, and stagehands readied the stage, Ms. Moore, as well has her band, took the stage. The first thing I noticed about Moore was that she can actually sing. Having always been skeptical of pop stars, it was a relief to see that at least this one has talent. Her music style has changed, and grown up, since her first big hit with “Candy”. The days of cheesy pop are gone, replaced with folk pop. With the change of her sound, she has been compared Fiona Apple and similar artists.

Moore also put on an entertaining live show. Unlike her pop counterparts, Moore’s stage show lacked pyrotechnics, backup dancers, and choreographed dances. She has grown past singing songs for twelve year old girls, and her stage show reflects that.

While her music may not be what I would typically listen to, it’s much better that the majority of her late nineties pop counterparts. Her live shows are based on the music, rather than theatrics, and she’s a celebrity that actually seems worthy for the younger kids to look up to.