Indie Melody Master Andrew Bird Rocks Richmond
BY RYAN MARR
Attending an Andrew Bird concert, I discovered Monday night, is like attending a convention for Christian Lander’s blog, “Stuff White People Like,” except without the redeeming satirical commentary.
For those unfamiliar with the site, recent posts have indicted everything from “Appearing to Enjoy Classical Music” and “Girls with Bangs” to “Scarves” and the entry most applicable to Bird’s audience Monday night: “Standing Still at Concerts.”
I didn’t exactly stand out in my flannel, button-down shirt either.
Even Bird himself took the stage with a scarf trailing around his neck, cradling his violin like a baby as he showcased his classical influences with a delicately plucked pizzicato figure.
The ladies in the crowd responded by brushing the hair out of their swooning, bang-swept eyes while the dudes just nervously nodded their heads to the unrecognizable time signature.
If only David Sedaris had shown up wearing an “Ugly Sweater” and a “Pea Coat.”
In keeping with fellow hyper-versatile singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens—also beloved by white people everywhere—Bird demonstrated his considerable musical versatility throughout the evening, splitting time between glockenspiel, several guitars, a violin, and an impressive array of looping pedals at his feet.
At one point, Bird hammered out a guitar chord, then, with the feedback still ringing, picked up a percussion mallet and tapped out a melody on the glockenspiel in harmony with his effortlessly tuneful whistling.
As if that wasn’t impressive enough, Bird—in an uncharacteristic display of non-whiteness—laid down a nasty beat-box too.
Not to mention Bird’s freakishly perfect vocal performance, the surprising hallmark of the show despite the hacking cough that plagued him throughout the set.
The shortened set length, most likely owing to the cough, was the only real let-down, considering Bird catered mostly to his recently-released album, “Noble Beast,” and neglected fan favorites like “Heretics” and “Fiery Crash.”
But I don’t think the audience minded too much.
Personally, after the show, I still had time to make my yoga class, buy an expensive sandwich, and play a round of Frisbee golf.