February 26th, 2009
Loney Dear is an up-and-coming indie group with a very honest presence and exciting yet adorable melodies. I highly recommend you find highlight number “Airport Surroundings” somewhere on the interwebs.
Andrew Bird is a unique performer, by all respects. Trained on the Suzuki method (much like your humble author!) on violin starting at age 4 and graduating Northwestern University with a degree in violin performance, Bird is clearly going to be in the upper echelons of musical ability. This he proves during the show, not only evidencing his unbelievable talent at violin, but also on instruments as diverse as the glockenspiel, mandolin, guitar and even whistling. The multi-layered tracks of violin or Bird’s whistling heard on the albums are not sacrificed in the show. They aren’t even pre-recorded. Bird uses a live sampling pedal system, so that every layer of sound is unique to this show alone. Every song in this set seemed to be the one that truly showcased his ability, yet I was consistently impressed by new tricks or insane violin riffs. Andrew Bird is most certainly a live performer worth his salt.
- The layered and complex rhythm achieved on “Effigy.” As each was added by the sampling pedal, the resulting backtrack was something you could really get lost in musically.
- “Plasticities” was so intricate that every member of the band was completely in the zone, a focus that translated into the crowd. Every instrument on stage was used, including a Theremin that played off the feedback of the electric guitar.
- The absolute highlight of the night was “Why,” an accomplishment in Bird’s blues ability and in gettin the whole crowd spontaneously cheering at key moments, especially in the violin part, that totally blew us away.
- “Imitosis” saw Bird a little off his game. After having to restart the song due to what he apparently considered faulty tuning, Bird never really seemed confident with the number, and unfortunately he would not seem to regain full confidence until the encore numbers.
90/100 (More musical ability than is typical to see in a mainstream group, loss of focus in end of main set was only deduction.)
1. A 19th century spiritual folk song, name unknown
3. “Opposite Day”
4. “Fitz and Dizzyspells”
5. “Natural Disaster”
7. “Oh No.”
9. “Not a Robot” (by Martin Dosh)
10. “Armchair Apocalypse”
14. “Fake Palindromes”
“Tables and Chairs”