Mandy Moore: As ‘This Is Us’ ends, star resumes life as a musician on the road

For six years, we have known her as the ultimate matriarch Rebecca Pearson on NBC’s hit series “This Is Us.” But with the show concluding on Tuesday, actress and singer Mandy Moore is getting back on the road for the first time in over a decade to share pieces of her new album.

“The last time I toured was 2007, and it really was the first time I had toured in a good chunk of time as well. I have these long lulls between going on the road, so it feels like an entirely new world that I have to re-learn,” Moore explained in a phone conversation ahead of a stop at the Vic Theatre on July 11.

This time around though, she’ll have the support of her husband, Taylor Goldsmith of the indie-folk band Dawes, who knows all too well the ins and outs of being on the road. He and his bandmate/brother Griffin will be part of Moore’s touring musician ensemble, and they also will be accompanied by Moore’s infant son Gus for what she is anticipating will be the “ultimate family road trip.”

“The fact that we could line this up touring-wise where [Taylor and Griffin] could come out with us during their time off, I know it’s never going to work out to do it again,” she said. “So I’m definitely soaking it all in.”

In a previous life, Moore may have been a teen queen known for her bubblegum pop hits like “Candy” and starring in high school dramas like “A Walk to Remember,” but there is a noticeable maturity and true relatability displayed on the new album, “In Real Life” (out now on Verve Forecast). It’s apparent not just in the refined sounds covering the gamut of folk music, synth pop and singer-songwriter territory (helped by collaborators including the members of Dawes as well as the indie pop band Lucius), but also in the material itself.

“So much of this record was influenced by this impending idea of parenthood and knowing this next chapter was upon us and what it was going to mean and how it was going to unfold. And really knowing how life was going to look different and even reflecting back on my own childhood and my [relationship with] my parents,” shared Moore, who welcomed Gus in February 2021.”I’m way more intentional with my time and my boundaries now being a parent. I tended to suffer from being a people-pleaser earlier in my life, but it’s crazy how that switches on when you have someone else to be responsible for. There was no way that this life-changing event wouldn’t influence the music I write and how I write.”

Her new record, Moore says, was influenced by impending motherhood and considering “what it was going to mean and how it was going to unfold.”

Jenna Jones

In the sweetly revealing music video for the “In Real Life” title track, Moore shares some moments of her home life with self-recorded snippets of her waking up, caring for her son and being in the studio. The video also features cameos from a slew of her friends who submitted their own “day in the life” cellphone footage, like Hilary Duff, Amanda Kloots and of course her “This Is Us” castmates including Chrissy Metz, Justin Hartley and Jon Huertas.

Moore would be remiss to not see the parallels of how the award-winning series, which showcases the small and big moments of one family across the span of decades, shaped her and her latest record. Her character Rebecca (for which Moore was nominated for a Golden Globe award for her uncanny ability to play the pivotal role across a range of ages) also once had hopes of being a singer, and the show gives hints of her dream deferred in various flashbacks and montages.

“I had the good fortune of playing the ultimate mother for the past six years, who I kind of already had on a pedestal before [being a mom] became a part of my own life,” she shared. “It makes me want to go back and redo the earlier seasons now that I know what it’s like on a very surface level of what it is to be a parent. … The difference is now I don’t have to fake it on camera anymore.”

The six-season run of “This Is Us,” with Sterling K. Brown and Mandy Moore, will conclude Tuesday night.

With the success of the series, Moore has opened herself up to a whole new audience of fans who have found her music through a back route — and the star is looking forward to the transition from sound stage to real stage.

“For me, it’s all about connecting with people one on one, especially since we haven’t been able to do that these past two years,” she said, noting each show might have some covers but will be heavy on her original material, including 2020’s “Silver Landings.” That’s an album she never got to properly promote due to COVID; in fact, Moore gave the final in-audience performance on “The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon” in March 2020 before the great shutdown.

“That’s what I’m most looking forward to, being able to see people and feel their energy and be able to share these parts of my life from the past, the earlier records, stuff from ‘This Is Us’ and these last two albums,” shared Moore. “It’ll be a fun mini-version of ‘This Is My Life.’ “

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