BTS Retrospect: Michael McDonald @ Philip S. Miller Park

Summer of 1982 and I have my first little boom box. It’s hot and muggy and I’m riding bikes or playing Barbie’s or looking at my sticker book and daydreaming when I hear the sweet deep of ‘I Keep Forgettin’ by Michael McDonald floating up from the speaker. It’s a jazzy sort of haze and now a collage of memory of boney shoulders set a shimmy. Come 1986 and I’m all over ‘On My Own’ where Patti LaBelle meets Michael in the balance of heartbreak and defeat. I’m all of 12 and thoroughly attached, always drawn to those depths of grief.

These are songs I’ve loved my whole life.

Last night I sat under the summer stars of Philip S Miller Park, full-grown now and trying to make music of my own. So much of the time I feel spent on it. So many times I feel too old for it. In a posh sprawling park nestled up in the foothills we get to see my childhood crush and he’s dazzling. Michael McDonald is as soulful as you hope. He’s optimistic and enchanting and he leads the most polished band of players with class and vigor. I try not to speak of inspiration because it feels self-important, but he got me.
— Cherie Rae Cobbs

Photos By: Shon Cobbs