[Retrospective: Andrew Bird @ SXSW]
[Andrew Bird]

I can't use anything but the divine providence of God to explain how it is I came to watch the likes of Andrew Bird on this day. A few months earlier, I was a bit in late in getting tickets for his show at the Paramount Theater, so having my name drawn out of a raffle to watch an intimate showing at the KLRU studios for a taping of Austin City Limits seemed a little too much like someone trying to make things right. I'm going to try my best to recall this experience, but there are very few words that can describe just what watching Andrew Bird is like. Entering the cavernous space of the studio, a twinkling backdrop of Austin at all sides, the gramophones greeted us with their presence. There was no mystery as to who those gramophones served.

With a quiet, demure entrance, Andrew Bird stood at the mic amidst the sound of hearty applause and cheers, but the second his bow touched the strings of his violin, silence was abound. Being a man of the loop pedal, the shoes on his feet stayed on for only so long before the green-striped demeanor of his socks revealed themselves to better ease his fancy footwork. We watched in amazement as this lonely man on stage crafted his music, and it's a thing of wonder that he knows just where he is in terms of the elements being played and looped, coalescing into the songs we know and love. Working solo, Bird whistled, plucked, played and sang, and we were enthralled. Eventually, others joined walked onto the stage, and Bird played with the backing of a full band that included the likes of Martin Dosh on drums. While it was a treat, everyone was still completely enfatuated with only one man, and all focus was on Mr. Bird even when a monster of a creation, a double-headed gramophone, swung about morphing a chord into a single note. Between songs, he was awkward, yet comfortable, company entertaining us with song anecdotes. A mesmerizing experience, one can really see that Bird is a concentrated performer. At times it seems like he almost struggles with just how much talent flows out of him - stretching, shaking. It would be no surprise to me if he's a savant that sees the world in musical notes. Bird just knows, understands music, and he epitomizes the modern showman.

Various Songs From Andrew Bird (all songs are right click - save as):
Way Out West [Live]
Spanish For Monsters [Live]
Oh, Sister [Bob Dylan Cover]

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No Otherwheres This Time, Guys

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