Have you ever lived in a big city before?
Although there are definitely advantages to staying in a small town or in the country, there’s something to be said for the excitement and activity of big city living.
Though it’s definitely crowded and expensive, you tend to meet a lot of interesting people and see a lot of unexpected things. On any given day, you could be walking to work or walking home from somewhere else and run into some incredibly talented performers right on the street.
This video is just one example of that phenomenon.
This clip was filmed in New York City near Central Park.
As the video begins, one man is plucking and slapping an upright bass. Right away, the bass line is immediately recognizable. The song is “Stand By Me,” originally performed by Ben E. King and released in 1961.
Although King may have first released it, the song is recognizable around the world and has been covered and interpreted by other artists such as John Lennon, Maurice White from Earth, Wind and Fire and even Florence and the Machine.
Now, it’s being interpreted once again by a group of street musicians!
After that initial moment, the camera pulls back to reveal an acapella group.
Though there are plenty of allegedly spontaneous performances on YouTube these days, this one is undeniably authentic—after all, the microphones don’t seem to be all that professional and you can hear other peoples’ voices in the background.
Still, after a moment, the first man starts singing out a few notes—and his fellow performers follow right after him. Even though they’re not mic-ed, they’re all standing under an alcove that provides great acoustics.
Once they all start singing together, a crowd starts to gather around them because they’re so good!
Although their voices are beautiful when they’re all in harmony, part of what makes the performance so good is how much fun they’re having!
Aside from the beautiful harmonies, the lead vocalist also has plenty of his own musical interpretations and runs throughout the song. After the first few verses are done, the singers strip the song down and the lead vocalist passes the harmony to the other singers.
Each one sings their own short soulful solo. Towards the very end, the lead singer does a few more inspiring and unique vocal runs over the song while the bass player sits quietly.
When the camera finally pans out at the end, the crowd that has gathered is enormous!
Although there have been all kinds of spontaneous street performances in Central Park, this one is really something special!
The clip has been viewed some eight million times on YouTube and after watching it, it’s not hard to see why! Although the identities of the men in the video remain anonymous, their talent and musical chemistry is easy enough for the whole world to appreciate.
Though there’s something great about a slick and polished pop song, it’s hard to beat a soulful and spontaneous performance like this one. And let’s face it—everybody wishes they could have this much fun performing with their friends!
Congratulations to the performers in the video for an unforgettable version of a classic soul song! Watch the full clip below:
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