Andrew Bird at Ogden Theatre, 8/17/12

Categories: Last Night

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Jon Solomon
Andrew Bird last night at the Ogden Theatre.


ANDREW BIRD @ OGDEN THEATRE | 8/17/12

See also: Q&A with Andrew Bird on his songwriting process and his approach to improvising using loops

Last night at the Ogden Theatre, singer/violinist/Olympic-grade whistler Andrew Bird performed in front of the most attentive, respectful, rapt crowd the Chicago wunderkind could have possibly hoped for. There was such a distinctive vibe in the room, the concert felt more like a seance than a rock show. The ringleader was clearly comfortable with this, moving through old and newer songs with fluidity, including standouts "Give it Away" and "MX Missiles," and, for a short set-inside-a-set, he performed quieter material with backing musicians taking up an upright bass and acoustic guitar. They all stood around a single mike, recalling early 20th century radio shows that have been a continuous influence on Bird's work.

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Jon Solomon
Opener Kelly Hogan last night at the Ogden Theatre.

Following an acceptable, if not particularly provocative, set by longtime friend Kelly Hogan (whose drummer is a veteran of Bird's former band, the Bowl of Fire), Bird took the stage. And with gusto: Bird's slight, bookish physical presence is a ruse, concealing a charismatic bull that owns the stage within the first few delicate plinks of his violin.

Granted, he's been working at it for a while. Fifteen years ago, Bird was a touring sideman with MTV darlings the Squirrel Nut Zippers. Following the commercial success of the single "Hell", Bird concentrated on his gypsy jazz-meets-New Orleans blues combo, the Bowl of Fire. Things got weird around 2003. That's when he began making albums that would define the work he's now best known for: asymmetrical song structures, looped violin riffs, and lots -- lots -- of whistling.

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Jon Solomon
Andrew Bird last night at the Ogden Theatre.

All this was featured abundantly last night. Bird took the stage and began with "Hole in the Ocean Floor," a lesser-known track from this year's Break it Yourself. He was backed by a full band -- bass, guitar, and drummer Martin Dosh, who looped many of his own rhythms. With the various effects pedals and auxiliary percussion instruments, the quartet sounded like a goddamn orchestra.

Location Info

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Ogden Theatre

935 E. Colfax Ave., Denver, CO

Category: Music

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kelseywalter
kelseywalter

@DenverWestword @andrewbird @ogdentheatre the show last night was fantastic! First time I've seen Andrew perform with a band, magical.

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