DVD: Playing For Change Live
When Playing for Change began it was a profound musical statement that virally united musicians in their natural environments around the globe through song using modern video and audio technology and now after the success of the “Stand By Me” video clip on the web and 2009’s Playing For Change: Songs Around The World the foundation has released a live DVD/CD of the ensuing tour entitled Playing For Change Live.
Many of the most memorable musicians from Songs Around The World are featured in the live show such as: Grandpa Elliott, Tal Ben Ari “Tula,” Clarence Bekker, Mermens Kenkosenki, and Jason Tamba and the music is expectedly great but the essence of the newly released live DVD is very different from its predecessor, partially due to the fact that the natural environments are now replaced by a single stage and partially because much of the documentary is focused on proselytizing the “Playing For Change” foundation and concept (just be interesting and focus on the music, you don’t need to continually sell us on the idea).
There are very real moments that make the film worthwhile such as: Jason Tampa’s introduction to his exquisite song “NDA” which tells of his struggles coming from Kinshasa, DR Congo and the bonus footage of Grandpa Elliott serenading a Make a Wish Foundation cancer survivor with “Amazing Grace” but they are mixed into the ongoing PFC advertisements. Regardless of its weaknesses the DVD/CD is still a great buy even if just for the amazing collaborations with Ziggy Marley and the always passionate Toots Hibbert.