Andrew Bird is a modern-day renaissance man. Beyond his multi-instrumental prowess and penchant for quirky, orchestrated chamber pop, Bird has come to define the sort of bookish, detached cool that can't be bought, styled, or practiced in front of the mirror. And with his mind-boggling skill, Bird looped, strummed, plucked, and whistled with his crack band through a set heavy in new tunes to an adoring crowd last night under the stars in Chicago's Millennium Park.
After the band's exuberant versions of "Plasticities" and "Fiery Crash," audience members rocketed to their feet as soon as Bird ripped into the intro to "Fake Palindromes." Patrons on the lawn poured down into the pavilion, pushing forward in one collective conga line of writhing excitement. In a matter of seconds, the scene went from tame restraint to a crush of dancing bodies, with young girls screaming, "I love you!" The sudden tsunami of activity left the bewildered security staff throwing their hands in the air and exchanging glances that said, "What the hell?! This guy is playing a freakin' violin!"
Though the crowd stopped just short of panty-throwing, the night left this reporter with one thought to ponder: Is VH1 interested in casting a new hunk for the next season of Rock of Love?
Check out pictures from last night on page 2.