A Concert Edition of a Forgotten One-Hit Wonder

Back in the early 1990s, Chicago native Michael McDermott was being hailed as the next Dylan or Springsteen or mutant hybrid Dylsteen with a harmonica for a mouth. Even author Stephen King was quoting McDermott lyrics in his books while calling him “possibly the greatest undiscovered rock and roll talent of the last 20 years.” Was he? Take a listen to this rocker from 1993’s Gethsemane album.

Pretty strong tune that one can still hear from time-to-time on WXRT in Chicago. I’ll fight anyone who disagrees with my assessment. Alas, initial fame was not kind to him, and he ended up having to rebuild a broken life and career. He now lives in the Chicago suburbs with his family while making new music in his home studio. And he still plays live shows, one of which I will be seeing tonight! But I’m not sure he will perform “West of Eden.” Here’s why.

It’s Halloween time, and that means McDermott will become Bruce Springsteen for his annual Halloweensteen concert. This should be a good show for me and my wife as she’s a big Springsteen fan, and I’m a big fan of free concerts, which this one will be courtesy of the afore-mentioned WXRT. The show should feature a lot of Springsteen songs, like this promo video from Halloweensteen 2016 teases for his 2018 show. And it’s not your eyes and ears deceiving you, but once he starts singing “Badlands” at the 50 second mark, the audio and video seem to be just off a bit. But you get the idea.

If you made it to the end of the video, you will see that he may also play some Tom Petty and original Michael McDermott songs. That’s understandable, since Springsteen has such a small catalog of listenable songs. Geesch! I’ll be ready to yell “Bruuuuuce” once he veers away from Springsteen songs.

Do you think Springsteen ever reciprocates and gives a concert featuring Michael McDermott songs? That might be a nice gesture. Maybe a Thanksdermott show in November around Thanksgiving? Just a suggestion.

This will cap a small, but solid line-up of concerts for me this year including Caamp, The Lumineers, Lord Huron, Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, and The Chats. Will I squeeze in another before the end of the year? That depends. Who wants to give me free concert tickets?


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