Disciple of Soul
Member # 3
July 18, 2004 02:11 AM
I think the title of this post
really says it all. What took place this afternoon in Philly truly was
the Michael McDermott show of shows -- the culmination of all XPN's
support over the past few months, the hard work of the band, and a
resounding affirmation to Michael's (and his longtime supporters') hopes
and dreams..."I've been waiting for this gig my whole life,"
Michael said at one point during the show...and it seemed the crowd had
been as well. It was a consummate performance delivered by a consummate
artist to an immense -- and immensely appreciative audience -- that I
was later told was estimated between 8000 and 9000 strong!
To offer a few specifics, the setting was idyllic, an enormous stage set
up almost literally ON the river, and tiered amphitheatre-like seating
area, that I at first thought ended in a copse of trees near the back.
It turns out there were people so eager to experience this performance
that they were seated even beyond these trees where there was nothing of
the stage whatsoever to be seen -- but apparently still ever so much to
After a brief, but very warm introduction by XPN's Michaela Majoune (not
sure of the spelling on that...), the band took to the stage for
"Spark", followed by "Arm Yourself", then moved into
a newly added intro in which Michael began speaking "I'll tell you
one thing, my friends"...after which he sang, "There's
hellfire tonight (repeated three times) and soon the band was off and
running with an impassioned rendition of the song as we all know it...
and yet not as we know it at all. For, indeed, this, like every other
song in the set, was rediscovered, reinvented -- remarkable in the way
Michael's joy at this event, the incredibly enthusiastic reception, etc.
just spilled over into every note.
It was immedeately following this that he offered the quote from the
first paragraph above, adding, "In high school I never got invited
to dances." Then, in typical-Michael self-deprecating fashion, he
joked, "I know I'm really cool now..." And, becoming wholly
serious once more, he concluded, "Thanks for asking me to the dance
today." And, of course, that provided the perfect segue for the
band to burn up the stage on "Dance With Me".
"Wall", "Junkie Girl" and "20 Miles"
followed, and he again thanked the crowd for "being part of this
dream" with him -- and thanked XPN for playing the next song, which
of course was "Everything I Got"...after which the entire
crowd stood, all wildly clapping, shouting, offering every imaginable
form of enthusiastic response.
Noting, "I'm not done yet...I figured I'd get an encore, so I
thought I'd do it now"...then adding, "I've got goosebumps..."
Michael and the band launced into their final song of the event,
"Leave It Up To The Angels".
Beyond question, the angels were all smiling on Michael this evening.
And, his joy in return was postively palpable. And, for all of us
longtime supporters in attendance, to witness -- and share in -- that
long awaited and unfettered emotion was undoubtedly the greatest joy of
One disappointment on a personal note, however(relatively minor in the
scope of things, of course, but still...) was that our camera decided to
give up the ghost before the show even began. I'd brought a backup
grocery-store-purchased disposable to get something in case regular/more
advanced cameras weren't allowed on the grounds. So, while I took a
bunch of photos with that, they weren't from all that close, and I'm far
from optimistic about the results. Should anything of that mess(!) turn
out worth sharing, of course I'll do so. I only hope someone else proved
more fortunate in that area and perhaps will share some good shots with
everyone from other parts of the country who couldn't be present.
Be that as it may...thanks again, Michael, Dominique, Danny and Rene.
See you all again soon!