Once upon a time, many years ago, a friend sent me a link to a video of Peter Gabriel and Youssou N’Dour performing “In Your Eyes”, live and in concert, somewhere at some point. (I never did make note of the details, much to my chagrin, as you will see.) It was an epic, 15-minute capture of singers and musicians practically exploding with the joy of cross-cultural music and dance. It was mesmerizing and beautiful, and I have no qualms in saying I dripped happy tears many a time watching that thing.
Sadly, through happenstance and an admitted bit of negligence on my part (we’ve all been there, yes?) I lost track of the link and I haven’t been able to find it since. Every so often I would think of that video and do an internet search, but it seems to be long gone. (I would proffer this is the result of copyright laws and whatnot, but who knows.) Granted, there are many videos still out there with Peter performing the song live (sometimes with Youssou, sometimes with others) and they are all just fine, with some of them equally astounding for different reasons. But none of them quite capture the “frozen in time” moment that moved me so much.
Earlier this evening, I finally located a video that gets close. It’s not the same clip, but it appears to be from the same time period, so many of the elements match my now-fading remembrance. The video quality is a bit hinky (although the sound is moderately decent), there’s an unnecessary but short intro, and for some reason the end of the clip abruptly cuts to another song. (You can stop the video at roughly the 12-minute mark, unless you’re a completist.)
Still and all, this video does capture that spirit that moved me so many years ago, a celebration of all aspects of humanity, a far cry from the corporate-driven, overly-flashy productions that are considered “concerts” these days, where the singer and the music are often buried under layers of commercialism and technology. Live music, done right, is about our shared human experiences and the conviction that we all just want to sing and dance in the rain, given the chance.
Story behind the photo: An unexpected lightbulb among the trees. Isn’t that what we all need?