Contigo revisited

This week is the anniversary of David singing Contigo en la Distancia on the ALMA Awards. Not gonna lie, when I looked at the original date and saw 2009, it kind of freaked me out. But there’s nothing dated about this performance. Nothing. It’s perfect.

You know those people who say “nothing’s perfect”? They’re wrong. THIS is perfect.

Here’s my original post on it from waaay back then, can’t really add much tbh… how about you guys?


2009 ALMA Awards - Show

“Relax, guys. I got this.”

How do we love Contigo? Let me count the ways

You tax my vocabulary, David Archuleta. I’ve run out of words to describe that thing you do to us when you sing. That magic you make. That spell you cast.

I’d bet many Canadians tuned into the ALMAs last night to see Nelly Furtado perform and ended up under your spell, instead.

7 things to love about Contigo:

1) The introduction. There was no mention of A.I. or the words “runner up,” only a warm, heartfelt welcome to the stage. “We are very proud to recognize the accomplishments of a very special young man. Please welcome the recipient of the Year in Music NCLR New Artist Award, David Archuleta.”

2) The first line. No existe un momento del dia
En que pueda apartarte de mi”
(“There’s no moment of the day
That you could drift apart from me”). He had us at “No existe.” Soft yet strong, tender as an embrace, it was his “Once upon a time…” that took us by the hand and led us into the story of the song.

3) Lone guitar. The ideal minimalist accompaniment to showcase David’s vocals (which were so overwhelming I had to replay it to convince myself there wasn’t also a string section or horns off stage).

4) Spontaneous applause during the third verse. At “Es que te has convertido En parte de mi alma” (“You have become part of my heart/soul”), the intensity and passion rang so true, I felt an electric charge jolt through me and, clearly, so did the audience.

5) Looking up to the stars on “las estrellas.” That move took us up to the stars with him, but subtly, with restraint — a grown-up glimmer of the youthful gestures David uses in his live shows. Demonstrating his impeccable instinct for calibrating his performance for each audience, venue and occasion.

6) Panther-like movement. The rise from the stool, the Archustrut to one side, the rhumba-like step back and stroll to centre stage – masterful and commanding. The opposite of awkward.

7) The song. Oh my. Each exquisite note caressed with love. The embellishments of David’s youthful version stripped away to reveal the beating heart of that song. Written in 1950 by Cuba’s César Portillo de la Luz, it’s a timeless classic dear to the Latino community and it took courage and cojones to sing it for them. He could have also wowed the crowd with Angels or ZG – something to promote his own releases. But no, he offered up a gift to that community, and by doing so, a gift to us all.

So beautiful. So David.

Thank you. Merci. Mille grazie. Muchas gracias.

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8 Responses to Contigo revisited

  1. peppertara says:

    Just love this post revisited! What a stellar performance that was and I’m so glad you reposted this TOfan. Your words are so perfect to describe the beauty of it all just as David’s performance was so perfect. I remember being riveted to my seat watching David sing this, still gives me chills, always will. What a remarkably gifted, versatile human being he truly is. This is just one incredible example. A beautiful piece of musical history for us all.
    p.s. Was there another beautifully written tribute that was originally part of this post? Something to the effect of: “Contigo….How do I love thee, let me count the ways……or am I thinking of someone else’s words perhaps….maybe so. 🙂

  2. peppertara says:

    Oh that’s what I remembered. It was all so lovely then and all so lovely now. Don’t think could be written any more beautifully! Agree with every world.

  3. peppertara says:

    Should say “agree with every word”. Ha.

  4. missbianca says:

    This performance makes me thud every time I watch it.
    Maybe when David returns he’ll sing achingly beautiful love songs again?

  5. A Classic!!! So beautiful and thanks for your interpretation as well 🙂

  6. Rose says:

    I love David’s “Contigo……….” I once saw all the artists who sang it together on a site so that we could compare them and decide who was best.. It was David, hands down.

    ms bianca: That’s my hope as well. Meanwhile, listen to his “Love Me Tender”. And he was only 17 when he sang that. So amazingly beautiful

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