Monday, May 7, 2012

Artful: Andrew Bird

On Friday night, I got to see the extraordinary Andrew Bird in concert at the Beacon Theatre.  The man is so talented that it’s difficult for me to wrap my mind around just how gifted he is.  For me, Andrew Bird is both poet and musician.  So when in an interview with Time Out New York Bird referred to a quote from Galway Kinnell (an American poet), “Poetry is the singing of what it is to be on our own planet,” it made perfect sense to me.  You can see two of my favorite excerpts from his songs above.

I first had the opportunity to see Andrew Bird live last summer at Prospect Park (he was the opening act of Celebrate Brooklyn!), but I have to say it was so much better to see him in a more enclosed venue like the Beacon.  The performances during the concert ranged from full out rocking numbers to far more pared down songs.  Some of my favorite moments featured him and two of the band members singing around one microphone.  Andrew Bird commented that it was much harder for them, but that when they sang this way that what they hear and what we hear is the same.  He said that ultimately in some way it felt more “honest.” You’ll get to see the more personal vocal performances in some of the videos I’ve included in this post.

In order from top to bottom:
(1) London Performance. Cover of The Handsome Family’s “So Much Wine.”  This song is achingly beautiful.  I wish I could find the version he did in New York on Friday night.  He sang it with two members of the band and the harmonies were just beyond lovely.
(2) Dallas, Texas Performance.  Cover of Townes Van Zandt’s “If I Needed You.”
(3) NYC Performance (the concert I was at!).  The final song Andrew Bird performed in New York was one of his own, “Fake Palindromes.” It’s my favorite off of his album “Andrew Bird and the Mysterious Production of Eggs.”  This version is way more rock than off the album (I actually prefer the album version), but still terrific in my opinion.


  1. I listened to his music for the first time today with the clips you posted - truly amazing! Now I want to see him live.

    1. Isn't he amazing? You should definitely try to see him live.