Friday, December 11, 2009
I was one of the lucky people able to see Andrew Bird at St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral last night, the first of three Bird performances at the venue this week.
Every winter, there is one concert on an ice-cold night that leaves me a little stirred, and I think this was the 2009 edition.
I've seen Andrew Bird perform a number of times, and to be perfectly honest, I didn't care much for the gimmicks of the show; the cathedral's impressive pillars blocked too many views of the stage, the sound was fine (unless you wanted to hear anything that was spoken) but not stellar, the pew seating allowed folks to take up too much room, pushing big ticket holders into the cheap seats, and the staff was all too eager to push people outside after the concert into weather-advisory-level cold.
All that aside, I left the concert feeling uplifted, relaxed, rejuvenated, and in a weird way kind of cleansed.
Bird seemed pretty nervous and uncomfortable - he restarted songs frequently, something I haven't seen him do. Instead of sounding sloppy though, this somehow made it seem a little more real. It's hard to say why exactly, but I felt he really connected with the audience. Maybe the natural sound had something to do with it, maybe not. Maybe he really was able to "just play" rather than perform. I guess the reasons why are not too important.
It didn't hurt that he played some older tunes that are some of my favorites, either.
But here's the thing: I'm totally spoiled. I wish this show would have been at The Cedar, and seeing him perform there will probably always be my favorite Bird incarnation. So although it was a pretty magical experience, a little something was missing. At least I know what it was.
It's year-end list time, isn't it? I used to look forward to this time all year. Today it seems kind of annoying. Hopefully by next week, I'll have changed my mind. Has anyone prepared theirs already? Maybe I just need a little inspiration...