Grand Rapids performs American Pie

I have recently come across (or stumbled upon, as it were) this amazing video of 5,000+ citizens of Grand Rapids, Michigan performing a version of Don McLean's "American Pie." I dig it and think you really should check it out.

First, I think this is an impressive music video. Anything that involves choreographing such a high amount of people while covering so much physical ground and doing it one take (at least it appears that way) is going to make me excited. But I also love the story behind it. Grand Rapids was labeled a city losing lots of population, particularly those under the age of 18. This is a narrative that gets pumped out repeatedly about Midwestern (also called "Rust Belt") cities, and while it is based on facts, it is not something that makes a city and its people feel good about itself, particularly when the national media picks it up.

Grand Rapids decided to respond by celebrating itself, and I have to say, I think it worked. It really looks like a beautiful place, and if a city can get that many of its citizens – including the Mayor – to participate in a large-scale creative endeavor and have a blast doing it, then it proves it's not a city to ever count out, no matter the demographic/economic trends. This is inspirational and a wonderful fusion of music & revitalization. There are numerous highlights and "wow" moments in the video, I hope you enjoy it!