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Thursday, August 23, 2007

LastNight: Mandy Moore Satisfies USDA Allowance for 'wholesomeness' at Fillmore

Posted By on Thu, Aug 23, 2007 at 9:13 AM


Mandy Moore with Paula Cole

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Fillmore, San Francisco

Better than: a cup of hot tea on your face, but otherwise, ehh.

Download: A Mandy slideshow from last night.

Promoters should've named this the 'Dawson's Creek Soundtrack' tour -- what with all the acoustic guitars, finger-picking and songs about breaking up, having the courage to move on, feeling better, yada yada yada.

Last night, platinum-selling teen pop star Mandy Moore entertained a ...

30 percent capacity crowd of hundreds at the Fillmore, backed by four dudes on drums, piano, guitars and bass who could be her uncles.

The 23-year-old hottie hit the road this week to support her 2007 release 'Wild Hope,' an album she cowrote and controlled in an attempt to break free from her manufactured '90s hits like 'Candy.'

'Miss you like candy?' she asked. 'How can you miss someone like candy? Oh, well I'm begrudgingly going to play it - this crappy song from '99. Do it!"

The crowd screamed its loudest for her 'Candy' closer, which might've depressed Moore a little, given her current intentions -- earnestness, maturity, etc. She says 'Wild Hope' is all her -- which means that at her core the guileless Moore is a mediocre yet extremely likable songwriter. Moore is not over or underrated. She's exactly rated. Her emotional depth could be summed up in such banal lyrics as 'she likes chocolate in the morning and coffee late at night.' Deep.

Still, the girl's been in show-business since she was 14. She's got presence. She's sung the national anthem in stadiums, toured with the Backstreet Boys, became a neutrogena girl, went platinum, starred in a bunch of bad movies and one good one "Saved!" She even found time to see Zach Braff's weiner - a source of endless pain, we imagine.

Though there wasn't a Mission Kid in sight, Moore actually embodies a lot of the indie hipster ethos -- egolessness, a humble, grounded attitude, strives for honesty in her art, and a connection to her fans. Consequently, she smiles a lot, seems to be having fun, interacts with the crowd between each song and genuinely tries to be an artist.

Part of her longevity has to be tied her lack of sluttiness. She wore pleated black capris and a white blouse-looking thing you'd expect to see on a soccer Mom at a tupperware party in her homestate of Florida. All the trappings of her pop tart peers -- the bling, the DUIs, the shaved head, the flashed vagina, the drugs -- are absent from the Moore package and you get the impression that it's not an act.

She breaks stride to boldly announce that though she quit coffee and drinks green tea, she's switching to a Corona on stage tonight. Bold.

Songwise, her covers of 'Moonshadow' and 'Umbrella' proved the most moving. Conversely, when she hints that she has functioning genitals in "Gardenia," it lands with a thud. 'I like to make love on the floor,' she mourns. Hmm. The floor is dirty, Mandy. The floor is where you fuck. (A word never uttered onstage.)

In the final analysis, I'm not a big soft-rock/ green tea drinker, but I respect Mandy. Like Sting. I don't listen to Sting, but I respect him for sticking it out and not making too much of jackass of himself.

And it was nice that we all get to bed by 10:30 p.m.

Critic's Notebook

Personal Bias: She's still hot.

Random Detail: All the gay dudes and grown up dorks in the crowd. The High School Musical audience has more to it than tweens. A lot more.

By the way: Paula Cole kicked Moore's ass in terms of musical ability. And she was better dressed. Leave it to the veterans, kiddies.

-David Downs

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