The evening began with the British folk musician Laura Marling, whose simple set was a sweet, calming segue into Andrew Bird.Guitar in hand, she stood alone onstage and wooed the audience with each string plucked. Her old voice belies her youth.
Then Andrew Bird took the stage alone and initiated the audience into his musical style, intricately laying and looping his violin—which was strummed, plucked and bowed—and guitar onto themselves creating a backing arrangement for the songs that followed. Gradually, joined by Martin Dosh on the drums and two guitarists, the additional instruments blended beautifully into his lead. The whole experience grew slowly and you didn’t realize how captivated you were until the moment that it occured to you.
Complimented by a set of spinning Siamese gramophones, four hanging sculptures and a sock monkey, Bird’s setlist featured songs primarily off of his new album, Break It Yourself. He later flowed into a simple, wistful rendition of Kermit the Frog’s “Bein’ Green,” took us back to Armchair Apocrypha with “Plasticities” and ended the encore with upbeat bluegrassy hymnals.
As wonderful as it is to listen to Andrew Bird’s albums, there’s an intimacy, even in a venue as grand as the Fox, to seeing the music created live. The songs, occasionally punctuated by Bird’s endearingly awkward commentary made for a truly wonderful evening.
-Written by Lauren Perlow and photographs by Julie Logan
Andrew Bird: “Hot Math”