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May 13, 2012

Andrew Bird Charms Detroit

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Written by: Amanda Slater
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As expected, Andrew Bird’s performance at The Fillmore Detroit on Thursday, May 10 was a can’t-miss show.

Gone was the Fillmore’s typical main floor standing only format. Instead, all audience members had assigned seats and were able to sit back and relax, enjoying the sounds of the night. However, that’s not to say the show wasn’t exciting.

Opening act Mucca Pazza, a 30-piece self-described “circus punk marching band,” put on a show full of energy that kept audience members on their toes as band members ran down the aisles and into the crowd in a refreshingly fun and unexpected performance.

But chances are that most attendees knew what to expect from Andrew Bird’s performance — and he delivered on those expectations. Bird took the stage along with three other band members (two guitarists and a drummer), and instantly every song and every sound that was produced — from Bird’s signature whistling and loops to his vocals — sounded perfect.

Bird’s mastery of the violin is evident after watching him perform for only a few moments. His effortless manipulations of the instrument kept the crowd mesmerized. The sounds were complimented by a cool and quirky set design featuring paper lantern-like decorations. And every note Bird played or sang was well-received by a very receptive crowd. However, that isn’t to say that his entire performance was serious. In fact, it’s clear that Bird doesn’t take himself too seriously.

One can’t help but be amused by his dry sense of humor. At one point in the night he played “It’s Not Easy Being Green” (he also covered the Handsome Family’s “So Much Wine”). However, the funniest point of the night was right before he played “Dear Dirty.” He explained that the lyrics to the song were from a note addressed to “Dirty” that his friend found in the street.


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He quickly recited the contents of the note:

“Dear Dirty,
I’m a man as strong as a…
And I live in a cave, using my blood to draw.
And I live in a cave, only for food to eat.
Something I came up to
Using the blood to draw
Animals like the bull
The I go to find more things
Go to walks to find things I
I can use to make new tools to kill
All these animals, all these things.”

The audience couldn’t help but laugh when he said, “I pretty much decided that I was going to put this into the song verbatim, because that’s really what the letter said.” He paused. “And it’s really very mysterious.”

And there were many more opportunities to chuckle throughout the night as the crowd let Bird amuse them with his anecdotes and funny remarks while wowing them with his talent. All in all, it was a phenomenal performance — or “cooking show,” to use Bird’s words.

Check out our interview with Andrew Bird prior to his performance in Detroit here:

About the Author

Amanda Slater
Amanda Slater
Amanda is the Editor in Chief of iSPY Magazine.

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