As usual, Andrew Bird sounded amazing Saturday night at the Auditorium Theatre – stringing together crazy loops of violin, guitar, and whistling seamlessly. If I counted correctly, this was my sixth Andrew Bird show. I’ve seen him open for Bright Eyes, play at colleges, in a church and at festivals. With the exception of always sounding good, there’s been little commonality between any of the shows I’ve seen. He always provides a unique and varied performance, and I’ll keep going to see him every time he comes through town. Having said that, this was not my favorite Andrew Bird show. Everything he played sounded well put together but I was a bit disappointed by his setlist. He played mostly tracks off his new record, which is good, but not my favorite. He did play Placticities, Tables and Chairs, and Fake Palindromes. He also pulled out a pretty cool cover of It’s Not Easy Being Green.
At one point Andrew said something like “Let’s see how acoustically perfect this room is,” and he and band gathered around one microphone, playing a few quieter songs. The acoustics were pretty damn good.
There were some hopefuls that St. Vincent might make a surprise appearance as she played the Vic on Friday, but alas she was destined for Minneapolis. Andrew did however invite Nora O’Connor to sing on a couple songs.
I only snapped a couple shitty pics from far away, but as you can see in this one, he had a pretty cool stage setup with some twirling horn-looking things hanging from the ceiling.
Mucca Pazza, the opener, was a spectacle – a grandiose circus style marching band performance. I’ve never seen anything quite like it, and I’ve seen them before. I counted 30 people on stage during their set including a huge brass section complete with sousaphone, a drum line, electric guitar, accordion, violin, and a team of pompom equipped dancers in cheerleader uniforms. I’m sure I missed a few, so if you’re reading this and you’re from Mucca Pazza and I forgot about you, I’m sorry.
They’re playing a free show at Taste of Chicago on July 12th. If you’re not going to Death Cab that night and you can handle the cluster fuckery that is Taste of Chicago, I highly recommend you check out this show.