I’d love to try organising something similar to this ukulele flash mob and I hear there are plans for a dance flash mob in Wellington sometime in October (although you didn’t hear it from me). I also recall hearing about a Christmas carol flash mob at a mall in Christchurch last year but haven't yet managed to confirm whether it actually happened or was simply a figment of my overactive musical imagination.
Flash mobs aside, there is something about music and dance that has the power to touch everyone in a crowd, friends and strangers, even for just a brief moment in time. I was reminded of this on my ski trip this week. At the end of a tiring day on the slopes, there were probably 50 or so people returning ski gear they had hired. Boots were being unlatched, skis stacked and aching feet and legs being relieved of their loads. The radio was playing and suddenly a few dozen people join in with the chorus to Daniel Boone’s Beautiful Sunday. I looked up; the staff were also singing along with everyone around me. The grins on people’s faces was magic and I had that song in my head all the way back home.
Years ago, after a Christmas gig at a flash hotel in town, my band packed up the last of our gear and headed to a less than classy joint for a 3 am snack: McDonald’s in Manners Mall. I realised that now it was after midnight, it was our bass player, Aaron’s, birthday. Aaron’s a quiet, shy guy. Tim, our singer, was the opposite. “Oh, it’s your birthday!” Tim announced and started singing the first line of 16 Candles by The Crests. We’d created a birthday flash mob at McDonald's at 3 am! Here’s how it went:
Tim [singing]: Happy birthday …It was AMAZING! Aaron turned the deepest shade of red I’d ever seen on a human being, Tim was in his element, and the rest of McDonald’s looked around in a drunken, confused delight.
A rather large woman with a falsetto voice à la operatic style [singing]: Happy birthday baby, oh …
Some random guy from over the window [singing]: I love you so
And then, the clincher … a guy with a deep voice [crooning]: Ooh …
Have you ever come across musical moments like these, or been lucky enough to experience an actual flash mobs in the flesh?