New York's vast social patchwork was on vibrant display last week when Neil Finn of the band Crowded House started their set with the choir of PS 22 from Staten Island. Normally, when a band launches into their set they do so with gusto, but on Wednesday night Finn, wandered casually out to the microphone and announced we were in for something special. He commented that someone had forwarded a Youtube video of the PS 22 choir doing high justice to one of the bands signature songs and he was going to bring them on stage.
On came the choir first to do several song on their own and then to join Crowded House on the first few songs of their 2 hour plus set. It was magical. The kids were great, their joy was transparent and they showed no stage fright with a couple of the kids doing solos.
As you watch the video (which is the first song of the Crowded House set), look at the faces of the kids and think about the breadth of the backgrounds, experiences and ethnicity that they represent. It is quite incredible and it's what New York is all about.
Needless to say, it was a great night out.