It was more like "Takin' It to the Heavens," when Michael McDonald closed his performance Friday night at the MACC with an amazing, gospel-infused version of the Doobie Brothers' hit "Takin' It to the Streets." The triumphant finale featured a trio of Doobie's classics, with guitarist Pat Simmons first joining McDonald's band for "Black Water," in an expanded lineup, which included the "Hana Ho" female chorus of Amy Holland McDonald, Gail Swanson and Cris Simmons, plus Boz Scaggs and most of his band on vocals.
The ultra-cool Scaggs had opened the show breezing through hits from "Jojo" and "Lido Shuffle" to "Georgia," "Harbor Lights," and "Lowdown." Backed by a superb group, Scaggs' duet with brilliant backing singer Miss Monet on the funky "Miss Sun," drew the evening's first standing ovation. Then this female powerhouse blew everyone away with a stunning cover of Aretha Franklin's "Until You Come Back To Me." After his performance, Scaggs reported that Miss Monet's singing was his favorite part of the show.
And then it was McDonald's turn to ignite the night, opening with "You Don't Know Me," by one of his idols, Ray Charles. Drawing from his years with the Doobies, and the Motown songbook, McDonald and his ace band inspired dancing to classics like "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" and "Ain't No Mountain High Enough." And this legendary artist's hits like "Sweet Freedom," and "Yah Mo B There," kept the crowd merrily singing along.
JON WOODHOUSE photo
- Jon Woodhouse