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Monday, December 10, 2007

andrew bird : the orpheum theatre, december 7, 2007

it must be said again: andrew bird is ridiculously talented. this being the second time i've seen him live, andrew bird's use of loop pedals to create layers upon layers of sound was no surprise to me. and yet, the lack of novelty did nothing to make his performance any less astounding. he begins by playing his violin in pizzicato, lightly plucking and picking the strings. looping that, he then picks up his bow and plays his violin in arco, creating a second and a third layer of sound. quickly setting his violin aside, he swings around the guitar he's had slung across his back and now there is a fourth layer. add in some whistling and a voice that i don't think gets enough credit and you have an indelible performance by andrew bird.

what is really interesting about seeing him perform live, though, is his energy and presence on stage--he's constantly in motion, fidgeting and nervous tic motioning his head to the left in a way that you might mistake for anxiety or adhd. but the impression i get is that this man has so music streaming out of his hands and his feet and his arms and his legs that it's all he can do to keep from bursting into a mishmash of sonic disarray. he contains it well, switching so quickly from instrument to instrument, with so little time to spare, that you just can't help but be mystified.

the highlight of the night for me was bird's rendition of "the giant of illinois" by the handsome family (who opened the show). at the conclusion of the song, he pointed out how much he loved the song and the pure beauty of these lyrics, which i completely agree with:
delirious with pain
his bedroom walls began to glow
and he felt himself soaring up through falling snow
and the sky was a woman's arms
andrew bird : "the giant of illinois" mp3
from the daytrotter session (2007)

it's simply a masterful song. just listen to the layers he creates one by one, from pizzicato violin to guitar to his voice. see the rest of the daytrotter session here. i'll have more from andrew bird in the coming weeks...

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6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello. I was wondering if you have more recordings from this show. I was at this show, and I've been looking for recordings of this concert. Thank you very much for posting this. This was one of my favorite moments of the night. The whole show was amazing.

December 10, 2007 at 10:17 AM  
Blogger tad said...

sorry for the confusion, but this is not a recording from the concert--it's from the daytrotter session that i linked to in the post...

December 10, 2007 at 10:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank you. yeah.. i just realized that after i listened to it. its still a beautiful recording though, so thanks for sharing. im sure at least one person recorded the concert. it'll probably pop up eventually somewhere, perhaps on archive.org. thank you very much

December 10, 2007 at 10:25 AM  
Anonymous Ryan said...

This may seem like a funny question, but, would you happen to know what song came on over the p.a. right after his set ended? I loved it, and am dying to know who it was. It was upbeat, with female vox (but no distinguishable lyrics), sort of modern shoegazery.

Anyway, Andrew was absolutely brilliant, and I loved the Handsome Family cover as well. He is a genius through and through.

December 12, 2007 at 2:18 AM  
Blogger tad said...

ha, that is a funny question. i wasn't paying attention after the show ended, so unfortunately i don't know what song it was. but maybe someone else will know...

December 12, 2007 at 8:39 AM  
Blogger QT said...

Bird was incredible and phenomenally talented. It was the best show I've seen in a long time! I can't remember the last time I was blown away by a performance. He was simply wonderful and can't wait for him to tour back thru LA!

December 12, 2007 at 10:31 AM  

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all songs posted are for evaluation only. if you hear something you like and would like to hear more, please go ahead and support the artists by buying their music--i will always include links for you to do so. copyright holders: if anything on my site needs to be taken down, please email me and it will be removed immediately.

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