It’s been 23 years since Mandy Moore released her first album So Real. Now fans are getting “a front row seat” to Moore’s authenticity and honesty on her In Real Life tour.
In the early 2000s, 15 year old Moore created the soundtrack for every millennial’s childhood. Her musical success masked her creative control struggle, which led to years of animosity between her and her songs.
It took time for Mandy to hear the songs she created then and admit that “I have to accept them. That 15 year old was doing her level best … she’s the reason I’m here. I made peace with that and really hold her so dear.”
Under a soft glow and a flowing organic backdrop, Moore finally took to the Boston stage with a show that, like many things, had been delayed because of the pandemic.
Moore set the tone by opening with the title track off her latest album, “In Real Life.” Backed by her band, including her husband, Taylor Goldsmith of the band Dawes, the opening provided a synthy introduction to Mandy’s alternative new sound.
Moore continued with the 18 track set and journeyed through newer songs, including tracks off her 2020 album Silver Landings all the way back to the early 2000s with hits like “Only Hope” and “I Wanna Be With You.”
As a special treat for her New England fans, Mandy performed “Merrimack River” off her 2009 album Amanda Leigh. Mandy spoke of her New Hampshire roots and writing her ode to the neighboring river with collaborator and Stoughton native, Mike Viola. Moore and Viola harmonized with an acoustic guitar and left the crowd silently captivated.
Moore continued to use music breaks to dig deeper into the already honest lyrics. She balanced anecdotes with music, satisfying the crowd’s insatiable nostalgia cravings with songs like “Candy.”
Mandy’s final song, “The Forever Now” was bittersweet, as it was from one of her last performances on the NBC show This Is US, which ran six seasons.
“I have been taking this time on the road to sort of process the end of one chapter and the beginning of a new chapter. This is so wonderful because if I didn’t have all of you and this catharsis of music every night, I’d probably be curled up in my bedroom,” Mandy gratefully shared with the audience.
She then credited This Is Us for helping her enjoy music again. “When I got cast on This Is Us, very early on in the first season, my character’s back story sort of revolved around music, so it meant that I had to go to the studio and sing and be around musicians. And it just unlocked something in me. I was like ‘I need to remember this part of my life, part of who I am. I need to make this a part of the picture for me.’ So I really have the show to thank for that as well.”
For Mandy, the picture of the future looks “‘sweet as candy.”