Thursday, April 2, 2009

On the Wings of a Bird

Ladies and Gentlemen, tonight I had an evangelical experience. I didn't put a Billy Graham sermon on my iPod, no...

I went to see Andrew Bird in concert tonight.

People were dancing in the aisles, shouting and crying - it was almost as if one was in attendance of a glorious, profane tent revival underneath the gilded ceilings of the Allen Theatre.

Andrew Bird's sock monkey was in attendance, sitting behind him at center stage. I remember seeing him two years ago in Columbus. A fan at his show the previous night (Detroit) had given him the sock monkey, smartly dressed as Bird himself would be onstage, complete with a tiny violin and case with a camouflage strap. He hadn't named the monkey yet, though some in the audience suggested that he name him Dr. Strings - to Mr. Bird's amusement.

The show took place two years ago at the Great Southern Theatre in Columbus, Ohio. It was my introduction to Andrew Bird's music and has since been one of my favorite concert experiences.

When I learned that he would be performing in Cleveland, my attendance was compulsory. I anticipated the show from the moment I bought the tickets, and sat at work today in child-like glee as I waited for work to be over. I watched the clock when I was at the gym, giving myself enough time to change and meet Jeff outside.

Andrew Bird's music is sultry and lustful at times, and can give you a giddy and cavalier feeling like the glass of wine that preludes a sumptuous meal that you've fasted for in anticipation of its arrival. It can be fun and endearing, and has the tendency to remind one that (at least) for the duration of the concert, you know you're exactly where you want to be.

It's not evangelical because Andrew Bird is keen on Jesus (because I'm pretty sure he's not) but the songs you hear are likely to evoke reactions and emotions you might not always express in polite company. Even I shouted the name of a song I wished that he'd play, and I never do that.

(Yes, he played it in his encore.) see "Why" on YouTube

I laughed, I cried... I bought the t-shirt.

...And I saw Andrew Bird.

* Bonus video action ahoy! (this one is pretty awesome too)


Kelly and José said...

Beautiful re-cap.

I couldn't have said it any better. . .especially since his performance left me without words!


Stephanie said...

I love Andrew Bird. I nearly thought about re-jiggering my plane tickets to catch this show. It sounds like his typical brilliance.

Cara said...

Kelly, same here. There were so many times that my eyes were filled with tears. I think my hands were clasped so tightly the whole time, and I was on the edge of my seat. Andrew Bird puts on quite a show.

Stephanie, yeah. The man performs like nobody else I've ever seen.