Having taken so long between the show itself and finally preparing this page reliving it in words and pictures, I think it best to merely offer here a very brief introduction rather than adhering to my usual format of expounding on a specific concept or other lengthy attempt to capture the meaning of this event...attempts that invariably might fairly be called inadequate anyway, since no description of art can ever really do justice to the experience itself.
That said, I think the most accurate preface for this page is simply to make note of an amazing and real creation that unexpectedly served as a preface to the show itself. After a tense and lengthy drive to the venue, hampered first by traffic and then by rain, just as the city of Philadelphia started coming into view, an enormous rainbow appeared.
And that true, fleeting -- and yet indelible beauty is the finest analogy I can imagine to compare with this -- indeed, any -- all too quickly passing, and yet indelible experience that is an evening with the music of Michael McDermott.
Here are a few colors from this particular evening's vast array...
The set -- which contained astonishingly little commentary, compared to many of Michael's other shows I've attended in the past-- opened on piano with one of his newer creations, "My Father's Son"...
see myself there
'Cause I'm my
...after which Michael continued to allow the music to speak for itself through the glorious shades of "Bourbon Blue"...
I keep holdin' on
phantom jack of irons scours the highway
...which was followed by yet another of Michael's newest songs, the lovely "When It Comes To You"...
re-write the greatest
A dreamer's failure,
And I don't need a gun...
But I swear this time
I won't turn and run."
Man, I'm never goin'
...but Michael was quickly back in action as he pondered the "Grace of God"...
"Baptized in blood,
And you're wond'rin'
You're boat's pulled out
And you're on the dock
can't sleep tonight,
Much to the audience's delight, Michael at last embarked upon "Everything I Got", the current single from Ashes...and a song whose frequency of play on WXPN proves it's one Philadelphia radio listeners simply can't get enough of...
But I can't be
What you're gettin',
And I've given
"Ah, enough of this...time for a nap!"...
I'm kidding!!! Of course, Michael never left the stage...well, at least not before calling Rene back for a far from tired performance of "Darkest Night of All'...including a bit of improvisation that included lyrics from Nine Inch Nails' "Head Like A Hole"...
"Martha, I swear I know
And I can't say I disagree...
You think that I abuse
The things you knew I could never keep."
"Trust in me,
I know we will
just looking for to understand
After this it was announced Michael and Rene would play just one more song...a tune Michael had the privilege of performing recently as part of an opening set for the very "Van the Man" referenced therein...a well deserved night on which he surely found himself in a far better place than "20 Miles South of Nowhere"...
The music comes back
Hear Van the Man singin'
And maybe I'll come
I had to travel
Just to find my
And, as usual, the time spent under his "reign" proved most enjoyable and rewarding!
Check back soon for photos and commentary from the following night's full band show in NYC!
Thank You, Michael (and Rene)!
See you again soon!!!