Andrew Bird… charming, charming man. I absolutely loved this show, completely brilliant.
I’m not usually a fan of ‘big’ venues, but when I got there the Empire seemed much smaller than I remembered, and the stage was much lower too. Perfect! I had a pass so I went and sat in the photo pit and chatted with numerous folk about all the awesome upcoming shows we have.
The first act was Snowbird. At first I felt awkward shooting them, the stage was low and I was really close. At that point I was the only photographer there, too. I did the 3 songs then Shepherd’s Bush makes you check in your camera, so I went and checked it in and came back to watch. Stephenie Dosen looks frighteningly like a porcelain doll. I’d like to see her do some sort of robotic dance. She says some bizarre things too, but they’re sweet and pretty funny. She’s got a lovely voice and it was an enjoyable set.
Next it was Cortney Tidwell. Third time I’ve seen her this year. I did the photos and came back, I met up with photographer Rachel. Turns out we would be the only photographers in the photopit. I think everyone was at Tori Amos. While I was in the semi-backstage bag drop area I saw Stephanie Dosen carrying a chair looking a bit confused.
Anyway, time for Andrew Bird, hooray! I was squeeing and getting excitable. Amidst all the other stuff I listen to I sometimes forget how much I love Andrew Bird. I think Noble Beast is an absolutely brilliant record, one of the best this year. I had the pleasure of watching him play last year, and he just has the most endearing stage presence. He stands on tippy toes, waves his hands around majestically, and squints his eyes. His first few songs all blended into each other, so we had longer in the pit than we should have. In that time he played Dark Matter, and A Nervous Tick Motion (!!!). I couldn’t help but smile hugely and sing along. Last time I saw him he mostly only played new songs from the yet to be released Noble Beast, and only a couple of old ones. After they kicked us out I quickly dropped my bag in the store, then went out the stage door and ran back round the front of the venue and up the stairs so I could go join Adam on the balcony. We had a great view, I enjoyed sitting up there. I can’t remember the exact setlist. He did Effigy pretty soon after I got there, it’s one of my favourites from the new record, as is Anonanimal. I was hoping for The Privateers but he didn’t do it. Fitz &Dizzy Spells and Tenuousness were brilliant. I think the full band sound was perfect. Andrew did his usual looping and manic head shaking. Also, he had the cutest socks on the face of the planet on. Look.
I really love Cataracts hugely. I think it has quite possibly my favourite whistle solo in it. I wanted to hear him play it last year but he didn’t, and (with the exception of Beirut and Siki Siki Baba) I haven’t been having much luck hearing what I want. Before Andrew was about to start a new song, literally, Adam said he wanted Why? and I said ‘I want to hear Cataracts. But I know he won’t play it’. Adam said ‘you never know’. And I, ever the optimist, said ‘nah, he won’t’. Then he started playing Cataracts (!!!!!!!!!!). Amazing. He switched it around and slowed it down alot, the whistle solo was completely different, but it was still wondeful. He also did Imitosis, and Dr Stringz and Why?. He did Fake Palindromes and Tables and Chairs. He played for perhaps an hour and a quarter-ish. I loved it, brilliant set.
Andrew Bird is a hugely talented musician, he’s charming and so fun to watch live. Go see him!