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Michael McDonald preview

| November 28, 2007 | 2 Comments

Michael McDonald
Chicago Theatre, Chicago
Thursday, December 6, 2007


For the past three decades, Michael McDonald has worn many hats, including his time backing Steely Dan, an extensive tenure with the Doobie Brothers, becoming the pre-eminent duet dude of the 1980s (Patti LaBelle, James Ingram), and maintaining a solo career with varying degrees of success. The last few years have nearly literally been a product fest for the blue-eyed-soul switch hitter, starting with the 2003 release of Motown (his double-Grammy-nominated tribute to the early Detroit soul scene), a subsequent Soundstage taping (and DVD), plus the Motown Two sequel.

And just to refresh everyone’s memory of his original material, Warner Bros. dropped The Ultimate Collection in 2005 (his first career-spanning retrospective), followed by a tag team with Hallmark (hey, the Beach Boys did it and they’re still sort of cool) for Through The Many Winters, A Christmas Album. It’s a lot to keep track of, indeed (not to mention recent collaborations with Chaka Khan and Brian Culbertson), but McDonald has always been a multi-tasker who has preserved a fairly dedicated fan base in the process. Sure the pot-smoking, motorcycle-riding crowd of his youth may have grown up (and switched to the smooth jazz stations), but the crooner isn’t afraid to touch on all corners of his career in concert.

Yet several questions still remain, like how will the Doobies’ oldies but goodies like “What A Fool Believes” and “It Keeps You Runnin'” stand up against treatments of Marvin Gaye’s “Mercy Mercy Me” or Smokey Robinson & The Miracles’ “Tracks Of My Tears”? Will someone be subbing for McDonald’s famous singing partners or will he skip those altogether (after all, Miss Patti is truly one of a kind)? And will there really be much time for Christmas crooning when The Ultimate Collection boasts 19 bona-fide singles? It’s hard to guess what the “Minute By Minute” breakdown will be, but a general smattering of McDonald’s varied streets is likely in order.

— Andy Argyrakis

Category: Stage Buzz, Weekly

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  1. Bil says:

    “A general smattering” is what we got on Dec 6. As a big fan who had never seen him before I was disappointed. I was actually surprised to see that it was billed as a Xmas concert, so my bad but he wouldn’t even play “Yah Mo Be” There as an audience request during the encore. And how could you pass up playing “There’s a light…? WTF? McDonald was clearly playing what HE wanted to play, and not the 1200 (1/4 full?) people in the audience.
    Audience never really got into it other than singing along until “Taking it to the Streets” just b4 the first (and last) encore. I suggest he open with it. He was sweating, but not working that hard for us and our pricey tickets.
    EXCELLENT band, and he can still sing too. McDonald who did not introduce his drummer as doing vocals and she carried most of the vocals. Tighten up Michael. “there’s a light that shines…
    Heads up Columbus, Milwaukee, Kansas City, and Denver!

  2. Michael McDonald is truly versatile. I like the older stuff, here is my spoof of “Taking it To the Street”

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