In the third of a series of articles on aspects of music, I look at the raw power of a live performance. Previous articles have looked at messages within music and combining old with new music genres.
The Raw Power Of A Live Performance
When I was young and lived in the UK I went to a lot of rock and pop concerts. I remember sitting with tears streaming down my face at a Stevie Wonder concert. I ‘boo-ed’ with the best of them when the band Sparks left the stage with their concert finished after only 35 minutes.
I danced in the aisles to Chic, Status Quo and Mud. I sat enchanted through Clannad.
These days I live up a mountain in Central Italy so music concerts are not so easily available throughout the year without travelling a distance. I do go to some during the Umbria Jazz and Trasimeno Blues festivals. For example, I had a fabulous night in Perugia a few years ago, at an open air Santana concert with fireworks being let off in the background and bats flying overhead!
The Advent Of Music Videos
I remember when music videos first became popular and we started to see them regularly on television. I realize that shows my age but, hey, who cares? Who can forget the epic Adam Ant video Prince Charming starring, among others, Diana Dors? Pure theater of course. And we used to do that walk down the club floor.
Over time these videos have become more and more sophisticated, almost to the point of being miniature feature films. Many tug at your emotions and dazzle your senses. But however stirring they are, they lack something – the raw power of a live performance.
Or do they?
Life Performance on Video
The raw power of a live performance was brought home to me recently of all things by a chance viewing of a video by Asaf Avidan.
Who is Asaf Avidan?
I have a YouTube Channel and I have one playlist of music that has caught my attention, a mix of old and new favourites. That means that YouTube regularly suggests music to me. One day the suggestion was Asaf Avidan.
Asaf is an Israeli singer songwriter who has released three studio albums in his solo career. He was formerly in a group called Asaf Avidan & The Mojos.
I had never heard of Asaf before and to be honest the first track I listened to did not immediately endear me to his style and voice.
But then I watched this video. It starts innocently enough and I found myself really interested in how Asaf built up the layers of the music using the instruments and recording equipment he had available. But then it turned into something else – I couldn’t take my eyes off the man. Watch this video and I think you will see what I mean.
Phew! I need a rest after that. Actually there was a point where I thought someone should take his blood pressure and make him lay down in a darkened room. You can’t accuse him of not giving it his all and it was compelling viewing. The raw power of a life performance captured on video.