Wingfest  2-27-05
Home Up Michael's Bio McDermottOPOLY McD Setlists '00-'09 McD Press Archives Tin Angel  1-26-08 Gullifty's  1-25-08 WCL  9-28-07 Living Room  8-29-07 Living Room  8-15-07 Living Room  8-1-07 Living Room 5-15-06 Bitter End 5-14-06 WCL  4-11-06 Wingfest  2-27-05 Valpo, IN 2-20-05 WCL  12-17-04 The Point 9-18-04 Philly 7-17-04 Tower Rec. 7-15-04 N x NW  5-7-04 Cutting Room 5-6-04 Miscellaneous (5-04) Kimmel Center 5-5-04 Wheaton, IL 2-28-04 The Abbey 2-20-04 Bolingbrook 9-27-03 Ravenswood 8-10-03 House Concert 8-9-03 New York 2-28-03 Whiskey Bar 2-26-03 Schubas 12-28-02 Schubas 12-27-02 Makor  7-22-02 The Point  5-26-02 The Point 4-19-02 Bitter End  4-18-02 Nevin's Live 1-26-02 The Point  12-14-01 Stone Pony 11-24-01 Half Door  10-26-01 The Point  8-18-01 Brownie's  8-16-01 Brownie's  5-12-01 The Point  5-5-01 The Point  1-27-01 The Mercury Lounge


While hardly an event at which music took center stage -- hey, it's called Wingfest not Musicfest, so indeed all who attended were duly warned -- still, any function that includes a McD performance is undoubtedly worth showing up for...okay, I admit I could've done without the stampeding hordes scrambling for T-shirts midway through...and the guy dressed as a bright yellow chicken was a little disconcerting...but still -- no regrets!

Anyway, since it was also the show that arguably featured the least commentary from Michael of any I've ever experienced, the report of it on this page will necessarily be a bit more brief as well. 

Be that as it may, here are a few photos and a taste of what transpired. 

Joined by Lance on bodhran, Angelo on piano, and the new addition of percussionist Jim Murray, Michael opened unceremoniously with an intro-less "Arm Yourself"...

...after which Angelo switched to guitar in preparation for "Hellfire In The Holyland"





  "He flipped the coin
       down King George St....












                     And as he looked in wonder,

                      The sky, it cracked wide open...










      "It was the sound of
              rolling thunder..."





Next came "Baby I"...





         "Oh, baby I, I'm true and dutiful...

          Oh, baby I, I'm pure and beautiful..."


 the conclusion of which Michael took a stroll to the piano...

...for a moving version of "Need Some Surrender"...





           "The colors danced
                across the auburn
                   skies of November..."





Returning to guitar, Michael next shared the second debut from his recent appearance at Chicago Street Theater, "The Lamb and The Lion"...

"Still, I wonder why do I 
Always take the long way around?"

...before heading back to the piano once more, and embarking on another of his newer works, "Antique Store"...





                   "Am I just another
                              ghost here...


                     In the antique store?"




Taking up his guitar once again, it quickly became evident that the next song would be "Borderline", a choice that prompted some very loud whistling from a member of the crowd.  Acknowledging the approval with a brief nod, Michael continued the song without further incident -- aside, that is, from some very well-deserved applause at its conclusion...









       "I'm just looking for some space


        Somewhere near the borderline."






Summoning the rest of the ensemble back to the stage to accompany him, Michael took a seat at the piano yet again for "Hold Back A River" (yeah, I know he's shown on guitar here, but I don't have enough piano shots -- so let's pretend!)...





"Man, I hate












   When I find myself
          back here feeling
                     like this..."





...then (with the crowd becoming increasingly noisy) pulled out the indeed attention-capturing "Cal-Sag Road Song" to close out the first portion of his set...



      "I'd had a night from Hell,

        But it wouldn't be my first..."


        (uh, actually, from an artist's
         viewpoint, I suspect the
         ongoing sound nightmares
         and incredibly tough
         audience made this
         occasion very likely
         qualify as  one of those...)



After, leaving the stage briefly for some announcements by WXRT DJ Lin Brehmer (and commencement of the aforementioned T-shirt seeking stampede)...

...Michael and the band re-appeared to give it another go, beginning with the McDermott classic, "A Wall I Must Climb" --  featuring the "Lose Yourself" intro he'd commonly opened the song with for several shows a couple years back...hmm, wonder if that was a hint at the wish he might get lost himself from this particular gig...well, it certainly looks like Lance might have been thinking along those lines! (I'm kidding!)

A song that had been played to promote this event on XRT in the days leading up to it lightened the mood a bit:  "Unemployed"...





       "I know how to turn 
                              water to wine...

         I'm filthy rich, but I 
                              haven't a dime..."




One of the show's highlights followed, a raw and rocking version of Junkie Girl -- which, incidentally, featured some fantastic backing vocals by Jim...GREAT JOB!!!





           "She's my junkie girl...

             She's my junkie girl..."






So great, in fact, it looks like even Michael was stopped in his tracks for a moment...

Recovering quickly, however, Michael (again accompanied by Jim) moved on to "Hand of The Hunter"...




   "With my fists in
         the air, the 
         winds I was

      Free from the
          spell I was 





...and "20 Miles South of Nowhere" --the latter of these a sure sign (based on its positioning in so many of Michael's shows over the past couple of years) that the set was winding down...another being Michael's breaking of his silence to thank everyone for coming and to introduce his musical comrades...




    "Jimmy Moran
        and his one-
        man band

     Played every
       note like it
       was his last..." 





This song proved not quite Michael's last note, however, as he took a seat at the piano for one final number, "The American In Me"...

"From shore to shore, from sea to shining sea,
I am this land, maybe this land is me..."

...immediately following which, indeed Michael left the stage for good.  The "festivities" as a whole, however, were not to end quite turns out a bit of compensation for any shortcomings in the experience of Wingfest overall was still to come -- in a most intriguing and unusual form.  As "luck" would have it, there were door prizes (based on randomly chosen ticket numbers), four of these to be exact -- the largest of which (in more ways than one!) was a "Road Trip Grill" (for barbecues, tailgate  parties and such).  And, what could be more fitting than folks actually on a "road trip" being the winners?!?!?!  (Except possibly the fact that an object won at a McD event should just happen to come in Bourbon Blue!)

And beyond that even, before heading back East there was still one more tremendous surprise to may recall I haven't had a photo with a certain special someone to publish on this site in quite some time -- that someone, in fact, being one of the (in my opinion, anyway) handsomest -- and sweetest -- members of the male species to have been discovered anywhere in or around the Windy City in the past decade.  And, wouldn't you know, after that seemingly interminable wait,  I not only got to pose with him, but was even captured on film receiving a kiss!!!

What do you mean, who's that?  If you've seen the Schubas 12-27-02 review page, you must realize I could have been referring to none other than the adorable, "fat and furry" Vinnie...whose acquaintance I counted it a wonderful privilege to renew!

And, on that happy note I conclude, adding only...


As always, 

Thank You, Michael (and Angelo, Lance, Jim -- and Vinnie)!

And, again,

I warn you Chicago

You Bet I'll Be Back!!!






Hit Counter