Former Doobie Brothers frontman, Michael McDonald, came out on stage at Downey Civic Theatre and the first thing he did was talk about peace, honoring our soldiers, and encouraging everybody in the audience to vote.
Then he said that the first song of his performance would be one of his favorite, “Peace.” “My soul renewed, and my spirit free, in you I’ll find peace.” Obviously, he was in a very spiritual and patriotic mood. He made a great connection with the audience and set the tone for an uplifting show.
McDonald, on piano the entire concert, as usual, was also in a loving mood. The next song was a cover of Burt Bacharach’s famous song, “What the World Needs Now is Love.” This is one of his favorite covers.
He gathered up three talented musicians (Dan Needham on drums, Jacob Lowery on electric bass and lead guitarist Bernie Chiaravalle) to perform with him. Both Lowery and Chiaravalle provided spot-on background vocals on some songs.
Something noteworthy about Chiaravalle was when he met McDonald 32 years ago in Los Angeles and joined his band and continues to play for him to this day. They struck up a writing relationship and have written over two dozen songs together which have appeared on McDonald’s albums. Chiaravalle also co-produced his Blue obsession album. McDonald seemed very pleased with their relationship when speaking about it.
One of his anthems, “I Keep Forgettin’,” was co-written with Ed Stanford from his solo debut album in 1982. Its similarity to the earlier song written by the legendary team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller resulted in them being given a songwriting credit.
McDonald is also excited to be nominated for the prestigious award of being inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2016.
There were many other bright spots of the concert, especially the big hits he sang when lead singer for the Doobie Brothers. “It Keeps You Runnin’,” “Here to Love You,” “Minute by Minute,” “What a Fool Believes,” and the final song of the encore, “Takin’ it to the Streets.”
All of his adoring fans at the conclusion of the concert gave him a standing ovation and left the theatre feeling enriched by McDonalds enlightening aura.