Check out the moment YouTube pianist Brendan Kavanagh “pianobombs” a performance by an elderly man on a public piano. Very few public places nowadays do not have music of some sort playing. Malls, railway stations, cinemas, and even some parks realise the calming and uplifting effect music has.
However, some places take it one step further and leave instruments for the public to play. In a fabulous video which has gone viral, we see a man playing the piano in what appears to be a train station. His skill is undeniable, and he has clearly been playing the piano for many years.
His performance would undoubtedly have been special on its own, but then things take a turn. It appears that there’s some sort of bat signal to Brendan Kavanagh when someone starts playing a public piano, or maybe he gets a tingle in his fingers! Brendan’s YouTube channel is full of hundreds of videos of him playing his signature boogie-woogie on public pianos. There are many duets, too. Some appear to be planned, but others, like this one, are clearly spontaneous.
Unsurprisingly it’s the unplanned ones that tend to be pure gold. In this video, the man playing looks startled when Brendan joins him. Once he realises how well his new friend can play, though, he relaxes and starts to enjoy himself. Brendan starts off simply, with just a few basic chords to allow the pianist to get into the groove. Within a few minutes, pure magic happens. Both Brendan’s and the unnamed pianist’s hands start flying over the keys.
Brendan is the king of improvisation but for someone who has never played with him before, to do it so effortlessly is quite a sight to behold. So it’s no wonder they very quickly attract a large crowd, drawn in by their skill and the fun boogie-woogie melody.
Brendan and the other man seem to be bonding which is lovely to see. They exchange jokes and even swap sides at one point. It’s a wonderful performance, and we’re lucky it’s been captured for us on YouTube. To date, it’s been viewed 34.7 million times.