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I don’t really know how it’s possible to take the adoration, the frenzy, the sheer manic passion that accompanies a David Archuleta concert and turn it into a tepid and lifeless snooze of a video, but gosh dang-it if Jive didn’t figure out a way to do just that.
Look, I can process the idea that Jive won’t do anything imaginative or interesting for David, I’ve accepted the fact that they want their payday and they’re gonna get it in the most efficient and economical way possible, but do they have to work against him? I mean, you have to really try to make footage of an Archuleta concert seem as contrived and soporific as this video does (I almost used the word colorless, until I realized that they meant to do that… talk about an unfortunate metaphor).
When this was first leaked by an Asia-based blog site, I thought at first — hoped, in fact — that it was a fan video. And certainly not one of the better ones. But I had my doubts even then. No fan, no matter how technically challenged, could make David seem so… milquetoast. The irony, of course, is that David is anything but milquetoast in concert.
This video conveys nothing of the David Archuleta we’ve seen in concert over the course of this year, nothing of the diversity of his audience, and — inexplicably — nothing of the real and sometimes frightening delirium to which many of his young fans often succumb. No, this is Safety David. A nice boy, a lovely singer, and evidently a performer of no real consequence.
This is the danger when you give the responsibility of an artists’ image to production people who don’t understand the artist or their work. They bring their preconceptions, misapprehensions, and cynicism into the edit room and turn out a product that reflects precisely the narrow-minded assumptions they had going in.
But I remain content! This too shall pass. And one day, David will meet producers and production people who get him… Who will not only capture the magic he creates in a theater, but who are able to retain and even augment that magic with their own skills and creativity such that the music and video that emerge from David 2.5 or 3.1 will be so much more resonant of David himself. All artists are challenged in their ability to find production people who get it. That’s why when artists finally do, they cling to them for dear life.
In the meantime, back to YouTube.