Jan 29, 2008

Andrew Bird (Solo) @ The Vanguard

The salad days are over. Sweet glorious times of magic and joy. Andrew Bird at the Vanguard last night was an exercise in January coming full circle. Having seen him twice earlier in the month it was a distinct pleasure to witness his majestical machinations one more time. This time in the lush and luxurious setting of the Vanguard. His performance this time around was in solo mode (apart from two surprise guests) and also his last one in Australia on his current tour. I just hope February can live up to what January has delivered.

A pleasing aspect of this show was that he once again produced a varied and electic set list. Once again he opened with "Why?" and "Action/Adventure" before geting to the heart of the matter. It was a particular pleasure to hear "Measuring Cups", although once again there was no "Fake Palindromes" or "MX Missiles". Not to worry, there was plenty of joy to be had. A momentary loss of his capo meant Mr Bird decided to pull out an old song in "The Confession", which he claims he hadn't played since 1998. What else has this man got hidden up his sleeves? Another new one to the ears was "Sectionate City", which appears on his recent EP "Soldier On". This was sheer pleasure. A further slight surprise was the playing of only 3 songs from "Armchair Apocrypha". For a recently acclaimed album I really just assumed he would lean heavily on that wonderful album. From that album he did play "Spare-ohs" where he was joined on stage by Holly Throsby. To close, another guest joined him. Darren Hanlon came on stage and played guitar on "Tables And Chairs", a wonderful choice to close the night. Well almost close. The encore featured Holly and Darren sing and play on "Tin Foil", a Handsome Family cover. Then followed another one from the vault in "Weather Systems", which featured stirring and vital violin. At the close of the night as I exited the venue, I felt a tinge of sadness. That such a month of momentous music had come to an end was a little sad. Such rapture, such pure joy was had. I will keep these memories for a lifetime.

I have more photos of Andrew at my Flickr.

Set List
Measuring Cups
The Confession
Scythian Empires
A Nervous Tic Motion Of The Head To The Left
Sectionate City
Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning
Spare-ohs (with Holly Throsby)
Tables And Chairs (with Darren Hanlon)

Tin Foil (with Holly & Darren)
Weather Systems


  • At January 29, 2008 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    He seemd almost as sad to be leaving Sydney as we are to see him go...

    It has been such a fantastic month: first the Spiegeltent, then Joanna Newsom on Australia Day and then this show at the Vanguard.

    Must we wait another year to see them again?

  • At January 30, 2008 , Blogger James said...


    It seems like all my favorite bands are down under right now. Lucky.

    Good job with all the write ups, you sound like you're having a great time.

  • At January 30, 2008 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I noticed that Andrew Bird was in the audience at the Australia day Joanna Newsom concert.

    Alas, she did not seem to be in the audience for his Monday show at the Vanguard.

  • At January 30, 2008 , Anonymous jess said...

    Oh, she was Holly Throsby! For some reason, I couldn't hear her name when Andrew introduced her or when he thanked her.

    Btw, your photos are amazing.

    I'm sure Andrew must think I'm stalking him too! ;)

  • At January 30, 2008 , Blogger Wayne said...

    It really has been an amazing month of music and I think everyone will be sad for it to end.

    James-I can't remember having this much good music in Sydney, ever.

    Jess- Glad you enjoyed the photos.

  • At February 01, 2008 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    You really saw all those amazing bands this month? Wow. Congratulations, it sounds like the shows were awesome. I didn't realize so many bands toured Australia. That's really cool.


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