Rebecca Lanham – 1851 Staff
With a maroon button down shirt and faded ripped jeans, musician Justin McMahon looked comfortable onstage at the Arnow Campus Center on Saturday, October 5.Originally from Reno, Nevada, McMahon threw his head back and laughed, pointing to the small audience. “You guys have me all confused which way is West? Cause that’s where I’m from,” he said.
After officially being on the road one week, McMahon has driven about 3,500 miles. He happily stated he is “not sad on the road like some musicians.” He finds it to be an adventure, one that he thoroughly enjoys.
McMahon has been writing music since he was a teenager and spends copious amounts of time in the studio writing new music. “Once I’m in the studio, I usually am bored of the song and excited about the new one I am writing,” he said.
Although a talented guitarist, the predictability of his lyrics took away from the performance. Lyrics like, “there’s an open road, and I’ve got a brand new pair of walking shoes,” were incredibly original. However, lyrics like, “I can’t make you love me,” or “this is the face I can’t forget” lacked originality.
McMahon’s cover of Josh Ritter’s “Girl in the War” was done with great emotion and created a connection with
the audience, perhaps a nod to the power of lyrics.
McMahon put on a solid performance. The crowd, while small, was entertained with his performance. He was charismatic and talented as a musician, but as a lyricist, there is room for improvement.