Local Current Blog

Viral sensations Choir! Choir! Choir! to lead ‘When Doves Cry’ group sing at the Cedar

The Cedar Cultural Center is one of the most volunteer-friendly venues in the Twin Cities. Illustration by Allegra Lockstadt for MPR

When attending a concert, it’s usually assumed that the people on stage will do the singing, not the ones in the audience. That’s not the case for Toronto’s viral sensations Choir! Choir! Choir! At one of these performances, you’re in the group — and your singing might be heard and seen by millions.

Daveed Goldman and Nobu Adilman (known collectively as “DaBu”) started Choir! Choir! Choir! in 2011 as a “…weekly drop in, no-commitment singing event,” according to their website. Since then, it has grown into not only twice-weekly meetings at Clinton’s Tavern in Toronto, but also traveling performances around Canada and America. This Thursday, May 18, they will bring their talents to the Cedar Cultural Center.

The Cedar event will be an intimate affair compared to some of the performances DaBu have coordinated in the past. For example, at Toronto’s Massey Hall last May they led a crowd of 1999 in a rendition of “When Doves Cry.” On Thursday, they plan to replicate that — albeit with a somewhat smaller crowd. (The Cedar’s capacity is about 625.)

When they arrive, attendees grab a lyric sheet and get grouped in with either high, mid or low singers. At the end of the night, Choir! Choir! Choir! promise a beautifully mastered musical product. Videos of the group’s performances, posted online, routinely earn tens, even hundreds of thousands of views.

Choir! Choir! Choir! have worked with Tegan and Sara, Patti Smith, Debbie Harry, the Flaming Lips, and Rufus Wainwright —the latter on their greatest hit, a goosebump-inducing cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”

On the Facebook page for their event at the Cedar, Goldman and Adilman describe the performance as “Prince’s classic ‘When Doves Cry’ at a C!C!C! event in Minny. Enough said. This is going to be so special. You don’t want to miss it.”

Hanna Bubser is a student at Hamline University.