Brownie's  8-16-01
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Michael McDermott  

New York City  8/16/01

Although surely to his fans, Michael needs no introduction, he nonetheless opted to serve as his own announcer...

"Onstage, from Chicago...Michael McDermott!"

And without further ado, the show began with the beautiful new song, "The Silent Will Soon Be Singing"...

    "Wearing a mask is a dubious
     And the words spark

     Lay down your sword
     And listen to the Lord,

     For the silent will soon
        be singing..."   


Because this show took place on the 24th anniversary of Elvis Presley's death, Michael chose to honor the memory of "the king" with a gorgeous cover of "Are You Lonesome Tonight?"...

 "Do the chairs in
     your parlor seem
     empty and bare?

  Do you gaze at
     your doorstep
     and picture me


Still full of surprises, he then moved on to a song that honors another memory, that of Michael's ancestors and his Irish heritage. Citing that his grandfather helped build several of the bridges in and around Manhattan, Michael favored us with the lovely and seldom-played-live "When The Irish Were Kings Of New York"...  


 "The heroes that rose
      from these city

   Became the ghosts
      of our past..."


And, of course, he revisited some more recent and familiar ground in the form of "20 Miles South of Nowhere", a song he lightheartedly prefaced by saying, "This is gonna be in a picture show... oh, I was still back in the twenties. I guess you call those movies now..."


          "Dan sat at the bar;




     He was talking 'bout his car
          with Alice..."


Due to some unfortunate technical difficulties with the sound throughout the show, Michael opted to spend most of the evening at the piano, where these conditions were less intrusive...


...And soon launched into the always excellent "Getting Off The Dime"...








...and one of my favorite of Michael's frequent covers, "Guilty"...

   "How come I never do
           what I'm 'sposed
                   to do...

    And nothin' I try
          to do ever
              works out


Unwilling to abandon the guitar entirely for the remainder of the evening, Michael shared yet another new song, the gently sorrowful "Over Before It Even Began"...


 "Be careful of your footing,
 'Cause your heart might
     be wrong...'ve got no place to land...

    That's why it's over
        before it even began..."



And, of course, no Michael McDermott show would seem complete without the musical reminder that

various forces of life

will continue to challenge us...

not the least of which is...


I am "A Wall I Must Climb"

And on that unceasingly powerful note, Michael announced that he would do one more song to conclude the show, the beautiful "Around The World"...

     "I know that I have met
         some prophets...

     And I've befriended
          the lowest of
                the low...

     I had to travel around the
        world...just to find my
               way home."

As usual at Michael's shows, no one was willing to go home so soon...or to let Michael leave the stage...

And so he returned to the piano for an encore. A song written in only 10 min. (in NYC) after learning a high school friend's mother had died, "Summer Days" takes a reminiscent look at dreams, reality -- and, of course, -- relationships...

  "Do you remember those
   summer days?

   I'd go to see every
     lousy gig you played...

    How I miss 'em...
    And I miss you, too."


Well, I can't possibly imagine any gig of Michael's being "lousy", but I can certainly relate to missing this particular summer day -- or rather night -- of enjoying his great music...

And, of course, I left already looking forward to a summer day to come when I might relive the experience!



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