Normally, I write about seeing Billy McGuigan and his band of brothers (and now son) the morning after. This one was so special, I had to take my time and really savor the experience before I could express it in words. It was a lot.
After touring for a couple months, the band was back together in Glenwood at the beautiful Davies Ampitheater. we’ve seen them there many times, it’s a great partnership; Barrett Auto, Davies, and the McGuigan’s with their musical magic. It never falls short or flat. Saturday night, it was all left on the stage. There is nothing from any of the band members to support life. It was that good.
Personally, I couldn’t wait to hear the guys again. Yes, I’m a huge fan, but there is something else about their music. When you add all the layers to their story, you just have to know they’re something so special it will heal your soul of whatever ails it when they’re finished. And it did for me again last night.
With my 93-year-old Mom finishing cancer treatment, our lives continue to be pretty baffling. She had a terrible week, which included both our birthdays and two trips to the ER. She is now admitted as a patient, so she’s getting the help she needs.
The Babe and I needed this night. A night away from all the stress, responsibility, and everyday life trials. Rock and Roll does that for you. It never forgets. And the better the musicians, the better the respite. It is truly magic.
They came out the door to the stage and ripped it off its hinges. “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” is one of the first songs, with the complicated guitar playing. Who but Billy, his son Ciaran (15 years old), and Mighty Max Meyers, are picking their way through it. Young McGuigan keeps up with his mentors and leads the way for some of it. My heart swelled. It was a magnificent thing to witness. Guys, can I adopt you and be Ciaran’s Bonus Grandma? The Babe was telling people around us who’s son he was. You can have both of us for free!
Every song, introduced with flair, was stronger than the last. Steve Winwood’s “Gimmie Some Lovin'” is always a crowd pleaser, especially with the choreography. Jay Hanson, you were very scholarly. Ryan McGuigan, you’re always solid and a stage presence to be rivaled. Matthew McGuigan, you are so precise with your instruments, it’s amazing. I couldn’t help thinking about the photos you planted of your sweet baby boy playing piano/organ/keyboards. Get him young and train him right. He’s going to be great, too.
The night ended too soon. It was still light out, but easy to get to your vehicle. This event is definitely on our calendar annually, and you can bet the Raabe’s will be anywhere the guys play or the Arts Academy has an event for the rest of the year. Billy, get some good rest while you take the summer off. You’ll be greater than ever. And thank you for all you do for us, your fans.