It wasn’t as much of an endurance test as his three-day Marathon concerts, but Mark Mallman proved he still has an impressive amount of stamina – and civic pride, too -- by playing all 25 of the pianos in the Pianos on Parade in Minneapolis last weekend, for a new video promoting the public-music/art program.
In its second year, Pianos on Parade is organized by the Minneapolis Downtown Council and Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District in conjunction with the music-education nonprofit Keys 4/4 Kids to bring both music and art to the streets. Local artists were recruited to paint a unique city-inspired design on the 25 pianos, which were then strategically laid out in different locations in and near downtown.
In the clip with Mallman, we see the cult-loved local rocker play his epic love song to his adopted hometown, “Minneapolis,” at each and every piano. The 25 sites are seamlessly edited together so it sounds like the song is being played nonstop. Locations range from sites outside First Avenue and Fulton Brewery to the American Academy of Neurology (who knew?!) and numerous office towers.
“I didn’t know one of these office towers from the other until I did this,” Mallman said Tuesday, following a special noontime concert in the south plaza outside the Hennepin County Government Center (yep, there’s one there, too). During that set, he dished on some of his favorite places to play on the 25-stop tour, including a Prince-themed piano on Nicollet Mall by City Center and a truly “monstrous” unit at the YMCA. He also revealed some behind-the-scenes trouble not included in the Downtown Council’s promotion of the program: They had to delay filming when a fight involving belts broke out between some fellas outside Brave New Workshop on Hennepin Avenue.
“I’d never seen a belt fight before,” Mallman enthused. “It turns out it’s not very effective, though.”
The same can’t be said of the video he made. Here it is.