Andrew Bird – 6/18/09

June 22, 2009

I went to see Andrew Bird on Thursday night at Radio City, with Calexico opening, and for the first time actually had good seats in the venue. Calexico was fantastic, and were impressive enough to make me buy their latest CD in the lobby right after their performance. Andrew’s set, however, was what really blew me away. He began alone on stage, with just his violin in hand, took off his sequined shoes, and started to play the sweetest sounds I’ve ever heard come out of the instrument that I myself have been playing for seven years. The sound was then blended with that of a clarinet, and the duet lasted for a few minutes, as the stage behind started to glow. Three objects that looked like phonographs were on stage, the one in the middle spinning quickly every time Andrew began his trademark whistling in an eerie manner. It was beautiful and bizarre at the same time.

The rest of the set included:
-Sweetbreads
-Fiery Crash
-Opposite Day
-Fitz and the Dizzyspells
-Masterswarm
-Oh No
-Effigy
-Anonanimal
-Imitosis
-Cataracts
-Skin Is, My (With Calexico)
-Scythian Empires (With Calexico)
-Tables and Chairs (With Calexico)
(Encore)
-Why
-Don’t Be Scared
-Fake Palindromes

Andrew’s looping ability was among the aspects of the performance that impressed me the most, along with how effortlessly he was able to switch from plucking to bowing to guitar playing, and go from singing a vast range of notes to whistling to talking to the audience; he also had a refreshing sense of humor. It was unbelievable to watch.

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