February 6, 2009

A Nervous Tic Motion

Andrew Bird, in red socks, rose on tiptoe and wielded and waggled his violin bow over his head, like a teacher chastising students -- or like hip hop fans gettin' their hands up.

He jangled around like a marionette, occasionally crossed his chicken legs, and at one point became so expressive with his left hand that he picked up and put down the xylophone mallet without using it to play.

Dosh provided varied beats on drums, in part frustrating when a rhythm or accent would pop up once and only once (like a great synchronized smash during one part of "Tables and Chairs").

Bird may have gone after too much violin distortion, and I think his songs lose some of their distinction live (the whistling and crescendos and toggling between instruments makes the songs bleed together a bit). But Bird took beautiful liberties on the vocal stylings of "Nervous Tic Motion..." and "Fake Palindromes."

I can't very well remember the arrangement of the middle of the set, but:

Approximate Set List
Intro w/ looping including a really big bowing stroke
Hot Math (?)
Yawny at the Apocalypse (?)
a clicking, clapping song
Natural Disaster
Oh No
a Dosh composition
Fitz & Dizzyspells
Imitosis (apparently my favorite last time I saw Bird).
Not A Robot, But a Ghost
A Nervous Tic Motion of the Head to the Left
Tables & Chairs
One of These Days, acoustic
Fake Palindromes

And The National, in Richmond, Va., is a really nice venue. Chill vibe with an especially friendly upper level bar (no pushing, easy to chat). We thought the whole place would be plush seating, and it wasn't, but otherwise it exceeded expectations.

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