The violin's never been so cool...

February 4, 2006
music illinois

Caught Andrew Bird last night with Lee at the Canopy Club. Impressive live show. I was really amazed how much can come out of so few people. If you’ve never heard Andrew Bird, his music has lots going on. Very melodic. The show (and presumably his album too) was performed by two people using slick audio equipment. They’d play several measures on one instrument, loop it, then play along to it with other stuff. Bird plays the violin, an electric guitar, sings all the vocals, whistles (reminiscent of the little bird Woodstock accompanying the girl in the ice skating competition in one of those old Peanuts tv specials if you know what I’m talking about…), and occasionally kicks out a few accent notes on a small xylophone.

He was accompanied by Martin Dosh who played keyboards and drums in a similar manner. Dosh played a couple of “instrumental” tracks as one of the opening acts immediately preceding Bird’s performance. Could swear I’ve heard his tune “Sam the Cat” somewhere previously…

Haley Bonar got things started with some acoustic guitar/keyboard tracks sometimes backed up by a guy on an electric bass. Beautiful voice. Reminded me a bit of early Jewel (the more thoughtful/sorrowful tracks as opposed to the peppier ones… before she went and tried to go all trashy mainstream pop).

Unfortunately, the crowd was largely composed of rude undergrads (the Canopy’s real close to the Quad) who couldn’t stop chatting during the first couple of performances (especially bad during the first act). Felt kinda bad for her having to perform in front of a reasonably large crowd, at least 2/3rds of which couldn’t care less that she was up there. No accounting for the bad taste of rude people I guess.