Stone Pony 11-24-01

Smoke and Mirrors

A room     
filled  with   
darkness --


an almost 

Between people and themselves…

                                Reality and illusion,

                                Escalating emotion and dulling senses.

                                How ironic it should be here

                                That truth has come tonight.

                                How fitting that truth will be ignored

                                          by those beating a stubborn

                                          retreat from the (to them) terrible

                                          beauty of its light.

                               Suddenly, an artist appears,

                               So filled with truth it seems

                                          he himself can't stem the power

                                           with which this bursts from him.

                              His voice is strong --

                                           it's often pain-filled brilliance

                                           spreading a clarity that cuts

                                           through the dank smoke-laden air,

                                           and turns the mirror of human

                                           nature on the witnesses: the criminals

                                           that all who embrace the comfort

                                          of comfortless falsehood

                                          are proved to be.

                              But the artist has but a moment in which

                                          to share

                              And he is gone…

                              Leaving behind truth alone,

                              Entrusting truth to others,

                              To be embraced by those who have

                                          gazed into its mirror and begun

                                          to understand

                                          the enduring nature of truth's beauty,

                                          and the smoke of confusion

                                          it is able to dispel.


The Stone Pony       

Asbury Park, NJ        11/24/01

An artist prepares...(or rather, pensively paces...)

 before taking a seat at the piano to open his set with the always amazing "Wounded"...



"All the pretty horses
    dancin' in that
    moonlit field...

 Me with my gun,
    you with your

 I can't recall what,
    but I know
    somethin' was
    that day..."




...after which Michael switched to guitar, joined by Brian Fitzpatrick, for "the first love song [he] ever wrote"..."Murder In The First Degree"...


  "My veins, they roared,
     flowed with a venom...

    They just seemed so

     I couldn't believe
       the power that was
       in 'em

     After the damage
       was assessed..."



...followed by "Spark", a song about characters fighting to retain hope in the midst of fear and fading dreams....




"The jukebox played  
   'Your Cheatin'

  You can't see the
     wounds as well
     when you're in the


"Me, I knew I needed
    different company...

These kind of talks
    always get to me..."


Though less talkative than on certain other evenings I've seen Michael perform, he did share a brief tale recounting his lack of fondness for flying, compounded by arriving in fog on this particular morning ("Just let me see the ground...just let me see the ground..."), before launching into the irony-laced  "Unemployed"...



   "Mama tells me,
    it's gonna be




...and an almost frighteningly intense version of "Junkie Girl"..


     "What are you

      What are you
              runnin' from?


      Was it the fear or
         was it the doubt...

      That got you runnin',
         that got you feelin'



After this Michael again returned to the piano for the lovely "Around The World"...




   "Go ahead and throw
       your punches....

     I can take whatever
       you've got to give..."






...and the haunting revenge tale, "Murder On Her Lips"...

 "I held her so
     and I could feel
     her undertow...

  I thought the night
      was just
      playin' tricks...

  She had love in
      her eyes,

   And murder on
      her lips..."


...before closing out his set on guitar, joined by Brian once again for the McDermott classic, "A Wall I Must Climb"...

  "Time was
    movin' so
  I  couldn't

  I was first;
    maybe I
   was last...
  had  descended..."

And, indeed, time had seemed to move so fast that (like all Michael McDermott shows), the conclusion had descended far too swiftly, and Michael moved on to greeting new fans and old friends...

...on which note I've gotta ask...based on Michael's expression in this shot, is it my imagination or do you bet this guy's talking about flying?!?

In any case, you can bet I'm thinking about flying -- TIME flying that is...until Michael's next East Coast visit....

As always, thank you Michael,

and, of course,

Please Come Back Soon!


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