Jacob (yak_boy) wrote,

  • Music:

Thank God it's fatal

Watching Andrew Bird play is truly watching a tortured genius at work.
He is wonderfully eccentric, standing on stage in his stripy socks with his loafers tossed deliberately aside.
He is full of nervous energy, and the deliberately exaggerated tic he displays when singing 'A Nervous tic Motion of the Head to the Left' belies the multitude of real tics that come and go throughout his act.

His performance is full of quick changes of instrumentation, from standard violin, to playing the violin like a ukelele, to whistling, to quickly throwing on a guitar, and of course endless fiddling with the multitude of different loop peddles.
I really get the feeling that, besides the glorious musical effects created in this way, it's all part of an elaborate scheme to channel his tics and nervous energy into something creative, whilst giving him an excuse to not make eye contact with anyone.

I mentioned to insomnius that Colin Hay had a signing session after his show, and we both agreed that Andrew Bird seems like the kind of person that wouldn't cope with such an extroverted event.

Throughout, he pulled an extraordinary range of facial expressions and, in the manner of the true artistic perfectionist, he often seemed to silently admonish himself for making some error or another that I would no way have noticed otherwise.
In fact, a number of songs had false starts, as something or other didn't come together quite right, and after he came out for his encore he even abandoned a couple of songs altogether because he "just wasn't feeling it".

Still, it really is pure genius, with three guys and about 30 different loop pedals creating layers of musical wonder.
Lyrically, it's true poetry, and the one song that Andrew Bird explained the provenance of just added a new layer of weird to an already surreal word-picture.

And speaking of genius, before the show I did a tiny amount of research and discovered that the main support act, Dosh, had had Andrew Bird performing on his latest album. It turns out that Dosh is actually a member of Andrew Bird's band, performing on drums, keyboards, xylophone, loop pedals and generally hitting things and making amazing music.
Tags: music
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