Pauper's Sky S-S Post


Disciple of Soul
Member # 3

Icon 12 posted July 18, 2004 02:11 AM      Profile for Mil   Email Mil   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 

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 be heard.

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 all.

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!