I have a confession to make: Unlike some of the editors in our office who know the difference from the Minneapolis Sound and the sound Seattle stole from us, who know the names of the members of Tapes 'n Tapes, Happy Apple, and Atmosphere, I am by no stretch of the imagination a music connoisseur. Nor am I one of the Tim Mahoney fans that have been following him since his days leading pop-rock band the Blue Meenies. I'm also not a fan of anyplace where my small stature lends to being pushed, trampled, shoved, and spilled on. But I do like attending events that bring together a good scene with good music and people.
The last few times I've seen Mahoney were at his solo shows—just him, his guitar, and his boyish smile. But I never really got to see him flourish as I did last night, at his CD-release show for Leave/Stay at the Fine Line. In a Mahoney-fanatical environment complete with screaming ladies and whistling gents, he thrived. Playing for his hometown crowd, the man was in his element, playing easy-to-sing-along-to tunes of love and love lost.
A more stylish version of his twenty- and early thirty-something fanbase, Mahoney took the stage dressed in deep-blue jeans, a plain fitted white T-shirt under a black tuxedo jacket, and a five o'clock shadow, his brown hair curling out from under his fedora.
He opened the show with "Piece of You," a song with in which Mahoney pleads "I'll take a piece of you, with me, wherever I go, wherever I go." The girls in the crowd were instantly doe-eyed, singing along and bobbing their heads in unison. Through the rest of the show Mahoney sang songs from his new album, including "Stay," "Leave," and "Sticks and Stones." When I got a chance to talk with Mahoney during an intermission, I was surprised to find out that this was the first time he performed these songs live.
With ten years in the industry and seven albums under his belt, it's evident that Mahoney has grown up a bit since his past records. He doesn't seem to be chasing down fame and his lyrics seem to be more heartfelt and earnest, bettered by heartache, loss, and age.