I went to see Andrew Bird last night at the Beacon. I’ve been listening to his latest, Armchair Apocrypha, non-stop this year. I’d never seen him live before and I’d learned from a few of my friends that he puts on a very fun show. Their stories turned out to be very true. He gives off a big presence on stage and really takes over all parts of it. He makes it seem like a big band production when, in fact, there are only three people on stage: Andrew, the bass player and the drummer. He switched instruments after nearly every song. He used a multi-track system to sample and loop pieces. For example, he’d play a small violin part and loop that in the background while playing the next part. Everything was operated via foot pedals and he did this all in socks – I guess to make it easier to control and hit the pedals. Oh, and on top of all this he’s a great whistler, too.
I wanted to link the song “Armchairs” here but can’t find a suitable version online. It’s by far my most favorite track – it’s had more listens this year than any other song.