Skip to contents
Downtown

Performer Sings ‘Hallelujah’ To Empty Downtown Streets

WATCH: Street performer Andrew David belted out a stirring rendition of the song to an eerily empty street. "This is the content we need right now."

Street Performer Andrew David signs to an empty River East.
Courtesy of The Hub Chicago
  • Credibility:

DOWNTOWN — The city’s stay-at-home order has turned formerly bustling places like River East into a virtual ghost town.

A local street performer, however, made use of the quiet by signing to the neighborhood.

On Monday morning, singer Andrew David was filmed singing Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” near the corner of Illinois Street and Columbus Drive. Using a microphone and speaker, the singer’s stirring version of the famous song reverberated between the neighborhood’s tall buildings, filling otherwise eerily empty streets.

Video taken of the performance, and shared by The Hub Chicago, shows the singer perched over a parking lot, singing out to an Illinois Street that is nearly absent of cars and pedestrians.

David, whose voice has been likened to the British singer Sam Smith, can regularly be seen performing in Downtown subway stations or at popular intersections in the area.

Also known as Andrew Johnston, the singer has been featured on “America’s Got Talent”, “Steve Harvey” and “Windy City Live.” David was profiled by the Chicago Reader in 2018, who detailed his treatment by CTA employees and police.

The coronavirus outbreak had upended life in Chicago, emptying out the Downtown business district and causing mass layoffs in the hospitality industry and other businesses forced to close.

Street performers have not been immune. In New York City, the vibrant street and subway performer scene has been virtually wiped out by efforts to contain the virus, according to Gothamist.

David did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVNFqbLdIdA

Block Club Chicago’s coronavirus coverage is free for all readers. Block Club is an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom.

Subscribe to Block Club Chicago. Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods.

Already subscribe? Click here to support Block Club with a tax-deductible donation.