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Wednesday, November 30

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Concert Fri Dec 18 2009

Review: Andrew Bird @ Fourth Presbyterian Church 12/15/09

Photos courtesy of Joshua Mellin

Gezelligheid is a Dutch word meaning "cozy" - not in size, but in ambiance. I've had the pleasure of seeing Andrew Bird in much smaller venues than the loop's Fourth Presbyterian Church, but the church was definitely gezellig during Andrew's performance Tuesday night, the second of four "Gezelligheid"-themed concerts in Chicago.

This night was anything but your typical Andrew Bird concert. Having recently injured his foot in Minneapolis, Andrew meekly limped onto stage and spent the rest of the evening planted atop a cushioned chair. This not only meant that he couldn't bounce around stage as per usual, but he also could no longer use his foot pedals, which gave the show an unintended theatrical element as he had to wave his bow in circles in the air to signal when he wanted his double-horn speaker to spin.


My eyes were frequently drawn toward the large Gothic stained glass window exuding a spectrum of color behind the stage. Andrew highlighted this gorgeous background with subtle changes of pink, green, and blue lighting, filling up the high ceilings with even more hues. At times, the back lighting was turned off and a spotlight shined on Andrew from the bottom of the stage, giving him a larger-than-life shadow upon the altar.

Aside from "Natural Disaster" and "Scythian Empires," Andrew strayed from his typical set list fare. Instead, we were treated with a set of what Andrew described as similar to a jam session he'd have while practicing alone in his barn. This included many instrumental pieces, at least one of which Andrew admitted he'd already written lyrics for, but just wasn't ready to share them yet. As is common for Andrew, he played a few tunes which originally started out from other songs, or had lyrics switched around from other songs. Most notably, we found out that "Imitosis" had originally derived from Andrew's desire to cover Sesame Street's "Capital I", however the fine folks over at the Sesame Street camp wouldn't allow him to use the lyrics. The biggest stand-out of the night was his new song "Lusitania," which derived from a lyric he originally intended for the orchestration that ended up becoming "Natural Disaster".

The night left me joyful and warm, even in the blistering cold of a Chicago winter's night. This must be what "Gezelligheid" is all about, even if I still can't pronounce the word correctly.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

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Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
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