Thursday, December 24, 2009

Andrew Bird, Chicago

The first time I had been to church in ages and I was here to listen to Andrew Bird. Not the most likely of places to see a concert, but it turned out to be the perfect setting for his Gezelligheid, a Dutch term for “coziness”, concert series. He achieved this snug atmosphere even with the cramped church pews, vaulted ceilings, and cold stone floors. With nothing on the stage except for huge gold gramophones and a tiny sock monkey, Andrew Bird was able to create a whole orchestra behind him with the use of looping musical pieces together. Not playing in his traditional concert style, I felt like we were experiencing an intimate moment with Andrew (I feel like we are on a first named basis now), witnessing how his music is created from the first violin strike and then deconstructed. I’ve never been to a concert where it was as eerily silent, with no one moving a muscle, albeit causing some cramped butts, while the artist played. He spoke lovingly of his western Illinois barn and played a song that he said sounded like the atmosphere. Playing mostly instrumental pieces, he also sang a few hauntingly beautiful songs, such as “Natural Disaster” and “Scythian Empires”. Andrew Bird is a rare musician, playing the violin, guitar, clapping, and whistling his way through his songs, it was a treasured experience for me to partake in what felt like the heart of his music.

Contributed by:
Amanda Douglas

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