Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Just About The Greatest Thing

Lots of things happen in music every day - new releases, new sounds, new pairings - but every now and again, a real, live and wonderful moment in time happens musically, putting wide smiles on faces everywhere. Anyone who managed to catch this performance, whether live (which undoubtedly would have blown anyone's mind) or the re-cap, understands what I mean by this.

This past weekend, artists gathered from around the world to play the famous New Orleans Jazz Festival, amongst sweaty music-loving bodies and dandelion fluffs floating through the sunny concert grounds. Next to countless fabulous acts, the soon-to-be 2011 festival connoisseur favourites Arcade Fire took the stage Friday, bringing along a little guest to add sparkle to their already glimmering act. Calling her one of their "favourite artists of all time," the excited young collective watched as Cyndi Lauper strolled on stage only to perform two classics with the band - her own "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" and, (for me) the showstopping contemporary hit "Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)". Lead singer Win Butler's wife and co-lead Regine Chassagne, who next to her own astounding sense of self always manages to draw a little bit on the past, was immediately in her element with Lauper at her side.

Plucking and sliding along a horizontal dulcimer with a shot glass, Lauper provided faint, echoing backing vocals to a smiley Chassagne who was hopping erratically (as always) and swaying to the 80s-sounding tune. And then, when the duet couldn't get any better in my mind, during the fitting Lauper-esque instrumental break down mid-song, the two gals shared a momentous retro dance-off at centre stage, drawing hysteria from the euphoric crowd. Man, what a moment - seeing the whole band grinning ear-to-ear, so aware of the magnitude of that happy moment in music. I feel like if things like this happened every day, the world would be a better place.


Sprawl II - Arcade Fire and Cyndi Lauper duet

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