A Bird, Some Truckers
My concert season seems to be as nonstop as Bob Dylan’s tour. Let’s catch up on a couple of great shows I have yet to tell you about.
Andrew Bird @ Variety Playhouse (Sept. 13)
This was my first time seeing Andrew Bird. To be honest, I wasn’t all that familiar with him until FBB Scrivener gave me a CD of MP3s filled with aural goodness last fall. I was hooked. So of course I jumped at the chance when Scrivener asked if I wanted to join his entourage for the show.
And what a show it was.
It’s hard to describe Andrew Bird. In an industry where “original” is overused … he’s truly an original. He whistles as brilliantly as he plays violin and guitar. His music is as much of-the-moment indie as it is something from the 1920s. I spent much of the show with my eyes closed, letting his songs take me to other worlds, other times. (Crikey. I just went back to writing like a pretentious college paper critic, didn’t I? But it’s true, kids.)
The show was brilliant. At times the lighting reflected his image on the side walls, giving us a bit of a Polynesian puppet show. I tried snapping shots of the shadows … but you’ve seen my concert photography enough to know the shots didn’t come through.
In case you’re not familiar with Andrew Bird, here he is on David Letterman a few months back:
Drive-by Truckers @ Variety Playhouse (Sept. 28)
Can you believe that this Georgia-bred and Athens-worshipping gal has never seen the Drive-by Truckers? I’ve loved their albums lo these many years, but had yet to see them live. The Northwest Doppelganger gave me sh*t about that, so I knew it was a must for 2007.
Thank God I have pushy pals.
I’m sorry, Dale, but I missed your beloved Amy Sedaris. I was handed a rush project late Friday, and didn’t get out of the office until nearly 8 p.m. But Baby Got Books’ Tim had a grand time with your girl.
This was one of the most entertaining shows I’ve seen in a while. Patterson Hood (this month’s crush) was in fine form. I haven’t seen anyone have that much fun on stage since Glenn Tilbrook back in January. He was charming. He was funny. He broke my heart and made me laugh with his songs. As did the rest of the band. For two and a half hours. As my co-concertgoer said, “They sound like Charlie Daniels and The Byrds had a bunch of children.” We’re both Southern-bred, so we know our Southern rock.
The band played a lot of new songs from their upcoming album (and a couple that didn’t make it), as well as some of their fans' faves. I walked out eagerly awaiting that 2008 release.
Patterson Hood, workin’ it.See that Chia-Petted head in the bottom right corner of the photo? His hair looked … fake. I so wanted to yank the back to see if it came off. But I’m weird that way.
The crowd was very UGA, rather homogenous. The guys sported khaki shorts, Hog's Breath Saloon T-shirts (seriously, two to every one Allman Brothers T-shirt), sandals, high-fives, and pumping fists. The gals were overdressed, working the floor in four-inch platform sandals and dresses that I would hang in the T-shirt section of my closet.
Guys, please explain the Y-chrome phenomenon of shouting lyrics into each other’s faces. I don’t get the thrill of someone an inch from your mouth, shouting the lyrics being sung. And yet I see those college boys doing it all the time. Is it to give their pumping fists a breather?
Get online now, kids, to check your local listings for Andrew Bird and Drive-by Truckers. You need to get out of the house. You need to experience something new. You need to get all raunchy and Southern. Tell ‘em Beth sent you.
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