We are now entering the Top 5 live performances from the David Letterman Show. We have had a great variety of excellent performances from the late night show so far. If you are just joining us make sure you go back to the archive and pull up #10-#6. Then come back to complete #4-#1.
I have learned a lot about myself over the years. One thing that I have learned is that I am a visual learner. No offense to my prior history teachers, but you just aren’t The History Channel. As much as I love listening to music I am really drawn to the live performance. This is when the music comes alive and my life-long learning continues. In the live setting you see those keyboard sounds were actually coming from the guitar. That percussive sound was coming from the bass, not the drums. And that angelic voice was actually coming from a human being. With all the talk about auto-tune and who can really sing and what is mass produced from layered vocals on a mixing console, it sometimes is hard to decipher. When I first heard that hallelujah chorus coming from one human voice, it was coming from Antony Hegarty. I was listening to Antony and the Johnsons and being blown away by the audio but when I saw that they were going to be the musical guest on Letterman, I had to tune in for the visual. Who, where, what, could that voice be coming from?
Fresh off of winning the 2005 Mercury Music Award in the U.K. (Why are the Brits so far ahead of us on great new bands, even ones from the U.S.A.?) Antony and the Johnsons made their U.S. network television debut on the David Letterman program. Antony sat at the piano and bobbed back and forth like Ray Charles or Stevie Wonder. Then that voice which was part Nina Simone, Boy George, and Bryan Ferry, levitated over the piano and strings to sing “You Are My Sister.”
This song made me want to have a sister. That radical older sister that turns you on to cool bands. Was he singing of a real sister or did he make her up like Juliana Hatfield did? It didn’t matter. Was this performance real or made up? No, it had to be real. I hit the back of my hand with the remote to make sure I hadn’t fallen asleep. I turned the television volume up to make sure it was live. This was real and Antony is really talented.
At #5 the stunning vocal delivery of “You Are My Sister,” by Antony and the Johnsons.