Andrew Bird - 3 September 2008: Chicago, Priztker Pavilion

[9 September 2008]

By Chris Catania

A lesson learned from kids that know how to rock to Andrew Bird.

The rush of kids toward the stage was fantastic!
It came near the end of Andrew Bird’s Chicago show. And as I watched the youngsters sprint from all areas of the venue and down the aisles toward the stage of the Pritzker Pavilion, I was reacquainted with a sense of innocence that I’ve either been missing, avoiding or choosing to forget about when enjoying a live show.

Those kids did what is often harder to do as you get older, which is not suppress that freely unashamed and spontaneous expression of joy when something is so exciting and you’re being yanked by your heart and mind to move outside of the normal mold of what’s “okay” to do in public, especially at a concert where there are more seats than open standing space near the stage. 

And for some reason I don’t fully understand yet, we push this spontaneous urge down, bottle it up and sometimes even thrown it away as we get older, deeming it immature or unacceptable.

But it was so fun to watch those kids run down the aisles and jump around up like miniature pogo sticks to Bird’s operatically rocking “Fake Palindromes”. 

I saw a few older folks shaking a leg, and yes, after the second chorus came around the whole crowd was on its feet, but it was those kids that started all the blissful ruckus.

So who were these kids? 

I don’t know for sure, but I’m guessing they were probably related to the fundraiser for the night as a block of tickets for a Meet and Greet were being auctioned off benefitting local non-profit Rock for Kids.

I’ll end with this.

Bird has written in his New York Times blog that “writing songs and performing live have with time become almost the same process for me. The improvisation and conversation with the audience from show to show keep the songs fluid and alive. On the other hand, making a record is like a show that gets drawn out over a year or more, but with no cathartic resolution.”

Well, the show was definitely alive and fluid and I think those kids (and the adults, too) let loose enough cathartic resolution and had a wonderful time communicating with tracks from Bird’s Armchair Apocrapha (2007) or Mysterious Production of Eggs (2005) and some new tracks, to make recording a live album seem a lot less drawn out and arduous than a normal studio version.

We couldn’t get the camera out fast enough to capture the kids, but Colleen did shoot what built up the urge and caused the kids to bum-rush the stage.

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/post/andrew-bird-at-priztker-pavilion/