Singer / Songwriter Andrew Bird played First Avenue yesterday promoting “Are You Serious”, his 13th album. The show had been sold out for quite a while and the venue was filled with 30 somethings.
Opening the evening was Brooklyn trio Dawn of Midi, a trio made up of bassist Aakaash Israni, pianist Amino Belyamani and drummer Qasim Naqvi. For fans of trippy instrumental music, this was paradise. Most folks in the front row had their eyes closed and were clearly into it. Judging by the loud cheers at the end of the set so, was the rest of First Avenue. Personally, I was to busy grumbling about the total lack of front lights turning what could have been very interesting photos into blue shadow puppets. But then a lone photographer should be the last concern of a band at First Avenue. Dawn of Midi did their thing and the fans liked it. Period!
Andrew Bird started his set by creating some violin loops and combining them for a short instrumental piece. That process is always fascinating to me so I appreciated seeing it done live. Other instruments joined and gave a great demonstration of how the musical pieces come together to make something greater. Bird is a multi-instrumentalist playing violin, guitar and last but not least quite the whistler. His current single “Capsized” was up next. His set list was heavy on songs from “Are You Serious” the first album of his that was produced by Tony Berg and not Bird himself. I enjoy the new album and the livelier, modern feel it has. Andrew Bird’s lyrics are intricate and force one to think. At one point Bird exclaimed: “I have been looking forward to this show. I love playing this room!” It was impressive to watch him play the violin and whistle at the same time. Overall Andrew Bird gave First Avenue a great show.
Set List: Journey to Satchidanada / Capsized / A Nervous Tic Motion of the Head to the Left / Tenuousness / Are You Serious / Truth Lies Low / Puma / Roma Fade / Left Handed Kisses / Three White Horses / Imitosis / Plasticities / Valleys of the Young / Pulaski at Night
Encore: Sisters / Harvest (Neil Young cover) / Give It Away / Railroad Bill / The New Saint Jude – Fake Pals