Imagine the most expressive person you know who speaks with his or her hands. Carry that onto someone singing in the liveliest manner, approaching a performance reminiscent of elaborate storytelling. It is inevitable that Andrew Bird will captivate his listeners in one way or another. Those who caught his performances at Pickathon were lured into a hypnotic state by all of the energy he devoted.
The Woods stage was a bit more suited for him, which happened to be a favorite spot to venture off to. The forrest scenery combined with the intermingling branches surrounding the stage provided a visual extraordinaire. The listeners who snagged unclaimed hammocks were probably dangling in a haze of euphoria. Couples held hands. Small children were quieted and calmed. Bird was accompanied by Tift Merritt, a recent songwriting and performance collaboration. The entire arrangement surrounded a single mic, which projected a graceful sound. The attendance was nearly at full capacity. Although overwhelming at times, the atmosphere held a cozy, ever-connecting feeling. Andrew Bird cabin fantasies were met.
The performance on the main stage allowed Bird to demonstrate his looping skills, as well as give minimal performances with his violin. His lyrics were to be taken in and noticed. Striking violin melodies melted into the smooth ease of the double bass. Bird’s vocals could be described as warm, adding a powerful glow to the intricate lullabies. As expected, the whistling was effortlessly conquering. Perfectionist tendencies were exhibited during this performance, although projecting a humble demeanor. For someone as talented as Bird, it hasn’t gotten to his head. His interactions with the other musicians and the audience were charming to say the least.
Experiencing him live, at least in a festival or outdoor setting, is well worth an investment. It’s inspiring, yet a dangerous gamble. You might develop quite the obsession.