Chrisette Michele’s live performance of “Best of Me” on various occasions is a testament to her singing ability as these renditions stand up to the quality of the studio recordings of the song. On stage she seems to have a very calm, collected aura, with a dash of hipness and most of all down home realness, not in the caricature-like sense of the term.
While viewing the song’s music video, the song seems to be “phased out” yet still present. The viewer/listener would most likely pay attention to how the supplementary items in the video help explain the song. Since the viewer usually knows the song before watching the video, the song itself takes a backseat these supplementary items, for example, to what the artist is wearing or what is going on in the background.
Chrisette Michele – Best of Me (Official Music Video)
Similarly, during a live performance, the listener will probably be focused on the artist behind the music as well as the differences between the live performance compared to the recording. Before the performance, the listener may try to discern the artists’ personality through how they move to the music, their image and the way they talk and sing. Then, if they’re not too star struck, they may try to scrutinize the artist to figure out if they don’t just have a “studio voice” and in fact can actually sing.
During this process they may look to the musical accompaniment for guidance. In the case of these performances, Chrisette Michele is backed up by music that enhances rather than overpowers her voice. One would conclude that since, here she sings in a Borders bookstore with nothing but a background CD, and her voice sounds just as it does on the record, she can indeed sing. Of course not all listeners go through all of these steps when listening to a live performance, but one can be sure that listeners do go through at least one of them subconsciously at some point.
Chrisette Michele – Best of Me (Live at Borders Bookstore in New York City)
Chrisette Michele – Best of Me (Live at London’s Jazz Café)