July 21, 2008

Mile High Music Festival Wrap-Up Pt. 4

I left Josh Ritter before his last song ended as I had lost interest in the Pop Country sound he seems to have developed (or, possibly [noting his earliest work], re-developed) and approached the tent where Andrew Bird would be performing. I've loved basically everything that Andrew Bird has done from his early early stuff that my roommate Joe showed me to his Bowl of Fire to the Squirrel Nut Zippers work to his latest solo stuff. All I needed to brighten up this festival experience was to hear him perform "Imitosis."

As soon as I reached my spot near the center in the front, I was struck with the peculiarities that adorned the stage. Strange, Wes Anderson-ian horns and amps stacked up almost 7 feet high behind where Andrew would most likely be standing. One of my fellow festival-ites told me that some of them were used to make strange atmospheric sounds, while others might just be for decoration (she had seen him a few weeks prior to this show and said the horns were at that show as well, but painted in more interesting ways). Andrew Bird and his band took the stage, Andrew resembling a Darjeeling Limited version of Adrian Brody, father's sunglasses and all, and the boys began the rock show.

If anything can be said about Andrew Bird's music, it's that it's straight up fun. He is by far one of the most talented musicians I've ever seen. Employing a looping pedal, he began to loop his whistling (never have I heard such a whistler), his singing, and his violin plucking. If he played to patient people, I'm sure he could be a one man band, but I don't think that even I would be patient enough to wait around for 3 or so hours just to hear him build 4 or 5 songs. The band's new bass player, apparently making the band a quartet for the first time, was one of my favorite parts, because he was so timid and every time he began to rock out, he got a rather stern look on his face that can only be described as "mean mugging."

There was not a bad moment in the set. Andrew announced about halfway through the set that they had been playing new songs, song from their new album coming out in January, but that they were about to play an incredibly new song, one that the drummer (whom some of you may have heard of) Martin Dosh, had just recently written that Andrew just had to write lyrics to. The song was a Radiohead-ian ethereal space ride that kind of reminds me of what Coldplay might be trying to get at with some of their more space-rock-marching songs. It was about this time that I realized that what may have been perceived as Andrew being drunk was probably just him channelling Thom York.

Andrew Bird - Imitosis

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