Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Supine

concert review: Andrew Bird, Plants and Animals @ The Opera House (Toronto, Ontario), September 25, 2007

Montreal's Plants and Animals opened the night, of their set I'd only caught the last two songs, but which were enough to pique my interest. Their second last song was loud, with hints of an underlying melody trying to creep to the surface while their last song was on the other end of the spectrum, undeniably melodic, slow with some psychedelic pop influences. They're back in Toronto at Lee's Palace on November 16 then at The Drake Hotel on November 17.

Amidst a darkened stage, Andrew and his two bandmates(drummer & guitarist) took to the stage. I'm mostly a newbie to Mr. Bird's music only having made the effort for the first time earlier this year to listen to some of his songs. He straddles the line between standard pop conventions and more sophisticated, classical influences. His show at The Opera House was a fine performance, and somewhat like says Rufus Wainwright, Andrew Bird brings a new sophistication to pop music without suffocating what makes good pop music good - that is, the melodies. Andrew's an impressive multi-instrumentalist shifting from violin, to guitar, and xylophone, plus a generous amount of whistling, often times all within the same song. I also appreciated Andrew's different violin techniques, playing the standard way with a bow, but then shifting to playing it like a ukele and casually plucking at its strings. Not to leave his bandmates out, both drummer Martin Dosh and guitarist Jeremy Ylvisaker were more than capable in their own rights, adding subtle nuances to their arrangements. With a multitude of multi-coloured lighting effects and the wonderful vintage amps and spinning gramphophone-like contraption on stage, the visual elements complimented Andrew's tunes nicely. The only thing I felt missing from the show was more stage banter from Andrew, and given the conceptually abstact song titles of his most recent album "Armchair Apocrypha"[which I picked up at the show], you'd figure Mr. Bird would have more to say. A minor disappointment of what was otherwise a terrific set.

Check out a few photos from the show below. More of my photos from the show over at my Flickr.

Andrew Bird @ The Opera House(Sept 25, 2007): photo by Michael Ligon

Andrew Bird @ The Opera House(Sept 25, 2007): photo by Michael Ligon

Check out more reviews of the show at Torontoist and Jordan Bower's blog.

MySpace: Andrew Bird
MySpace: Plants and Animals

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