I hadn’t listened to Andrew Bird for about 5 years before I saw him in concert last week. This was a grave mistake. The virtuosic multi-instrumentalist from Chicago just put out his 13th record Are You Serious and it is worth a deep dive. Sure it is an album you could feasibly have on in the background, but Bird’s meticulous brand of hyper-literate folk music demands your full attention. But before you listen to his album, it might give you better context to see how dynamic he is as a live performer: below you can live-stream the final concert of his current spring tour.
When I saw Bird perform at the Ace Theater in downtown Los Angeles, I found myself instantly entranced by his onstage motions. The way that Andrew Bird emotes–closed-eyed and swaying–while playing music communicates that he is on a different plane of existence while he is performing. In one song, the inimitably talented musician will whistle with vibrato, provide an arpeggiated, plucked violin riff, strum on guitar, and provide a lyrical dissertation with his perfectly hemmed voice.
The last time I had seen him, I was a sophomore in college and my life was vastly different in many ways. It was reassuring to see that someone I was a devout fan of had only gotten better. All this time, he was doing his thing; I was doing mine, and I was glad that we were (unbeknownst to him) reunited. Don’t ever change, Andrew Bird; the music world needs someone like you.
Image: Samaria Daniel