Friday, July 11, 2014

A Free Andrew Bird Summerstage Show Is A Rare Treat.

by Heather K.
photos by Katherine Kinkela

Andrew Bird Expressively Bows His Violin.
On Tuesday, Andrew Bird and the Hands of Glory band bestowed a rare treat on New York City by playing a free show at Summerstage in Central Park. Setting the stage for Andrew Bird was Luke Temple, whom you may better know as "Here We Go Magic". Temple's laid-back lyrics and pop-Americana vibe were the perfect complement to Andrew Bird's versatile set.

By the time Andrew Bird appeared on stage, Rumsey Playfield was full, having already neared capacity more than thirty minutes before the opening act began. A diversely talented musician known for making his violin sing, and writing sophisticated songs to accompany his violin and other stringed instruments, Bird opened his set with several instrumental solos - first strumming on a ukulele before moving onto his violin, churning out tunes that were suggestive of some of his popular songs such as "Dark Matter".

Andrew Bird and the Hands of Glory
With a discography of 20+ albums (LPs, EPs, and live), it's no wonder Andrew Bird has garnered such a large following. He incorporates nearly every mode of music into his repertoire - country, folk, rock, Americana, pop, jazz and bluegrass, to name a few. His songs are often both ironic and intellectual, such as "Plasticities," a song based on a made up word that sounds a lot like "Plastic Cities". As Bird and the Hands of Glory band played "Plasticities" at Summerstage, they stretched out the song with a beautiful, melodic instrumental riff that had the audience captivated in its resonance.

Andrew Bird is also heavily influenced by "The Handsome Family," and played many songs from his latest album, "Things Are Really Great Here, Sort Of...", a complication of covers of "Handsome Family" tunes.

Pay close attention to the discography listed on Andrew Bird's official website, because you can click on each album and listen to full-length songs. Wikipedia has an even more comprehensive list. Note curiously that the title of his 2012 album was "Hands of Glory". 

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