Posted in music on June 19, 2009

Andrew Bird * Calexico @ Radio City - June 18, 2009 (grace wu)
Andrew Bird

Andrew Bird @ Radio City Music Hall - June 18, 2009 (joshbg2k)
Andrew Bird

"Ephman thinks that even Andrew Bird was surprised that he was playing Radio City Music Hall. He thanked his manager, and sounded like he was accepting an award. After the show was done Ephman was probably even more surprised then Andrew was. He seems like a nicer fellow then most people that hit that stage. He was humble, spoke from the heart, and totally played his guts out." [Ephman]
The setlist from last night's show (6/18), below...

Andrew Bird @ Radio City Music Hall, New York 6/18/09 Setlist:
Sweetbreads
Fiery Crash
Opposite Day
Fitz and the Dizzyspells
Masterswarm
Oh No, Effigy
Anonanimal
Imitosis
Cataracts
Skin Is
My (w/ Calexico)
Scythian Empires (w/ Calexico)
Tables and Chairs (w/ Calexico)

ENCORE:
Why?
Don't Be Scared
Fake Palindromes

(can someone confirm the setlist?)

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Comments (23)

So much fun last night, can't confirm the setlist, but was glad he played a good mix of things (old and new.) He really seemed like he was enjoying himself. Always a top notch experience seeing Mr. Bird.

Posted by Anonymous | June 19, 2009 11:15 AM

Calexico was fantastic, but I was a little bored during Andrew Bird. It was just a little samey to me...I found myself thinking, "again with the whistling?"

The couple next to us enjoyed it tremendously, though. They made out through the whole thing. Good times.

Posted by anon | June 19, 2009 11:18 AM

Calexico setlist?

Posted by Anonymous | June 19, 2009 11:21 AM

For this highly opinionated amateur reviewer, the sheer versatility and musicality of Andrew and his collaborators (jeez! Drummer/looper/keyboardist Dosh with the bossa feet and the keyboard riff WHILE doing drum fills on the toms? Jeremy's crazy-ass slide freakouts and feedback harmonies on guitar, Andrew somehow wielding a glock mallet and picking his guitar!) served only to emphasize the risk-averse Calexico. (They nearly put us to sleep. Move or something while you play, guys!)

AH! GUSH! Bird's one-man textural variations! Those ever-changing voices! The inventive reworkings of his own catalog! The tasty new harmonies of the songs we know and love! Using the space of the hall to its full potential without over-saturating one frequency (see Calexico's annoying bass rig...)

Although, I guess, if Calexico's presence brought anything, it had to be the added brass and guitar choir on the full arrangements of "Scythian Empires" and "Tables and Chairs," which were truly gorgeous. Thanks for bringing the trumpets, boys. And thanks to Andrew, Dosh, and all for a magical first night at Radio City.

Posted by Caryn H. | June 19, 2009 11:52 AM

was it at all close to being packed

Posted by Anonymous | June 19, 2009 11:59 AM

The setlist looks about right to me.
I had an amazing time last night. The sounds Andrew Bird created were just immense.

Posted by Sophie | June 19, 2009 12:02 PM

there were patches of open seats but the orchestra was pretty well full, don't know about the upper levels...

Posted by Anonymous | June 19, 2009 12:04 PM

1st Mezzanine was packed

Posted by Anonymous | June 19, 2009 12:09 PM

On the setlist, it had Swirly intro into Sweetmatter(it was an abridged Dark Matter)

Otherwise, it's right :D

Posted by Michael Zonenashvili | June 19, 2009 12:32 PM

I'd never heard "sweet breads" before but noticed that it had very similar lyrics to "Dark Matter" which, in my opinion, is a much better and more powerful song that would've made a better opening.

Overall, I enjoyed the show, but was disappointed in the set list. I would've liked to have heard "Dark Matter," "Plasticities," "Spare-Ohs,"A Nervous Tic Motion of the Head to the Left," and "Nomenclature." I guess the problem is that since he doesn't really have any hits, he has his entire discography to chose from, which makes the chance of hearing you favorite songs slim at best.

Posted by Marc Oromaner | June 19, 2009 12:50 PM

another addition to the set list...

He played a solo vln/vocal version of 'why' before Cataracts. An older song of his from 'The Swimming Hour'

Posted by Anonymous | June 19, 2009 1:04 PM

thought he played darkmatter....or some variation of?

Posted by drea | June 19, 2009 1:53 PM

Agreed about Calexico's oversaturated bass. That put a damper on an otherwise very good performance.

Andrew Bird was great. His sound really did fill the venue, and the songs had a lot of variety. And the lighting was really interesting too -- not something I usually notice, but it was very striking.

Posted by Anonymous | June 19, 2009 3:22 PM

Glad to hear other people were noticing the absurd mix that the sound guy was using for Calexico. Great band, why in god's name did the brass have to be painfully loud?

he also did some Darkmatter stuff, but the piece that he did entirely solo before calexico came out was 'why'. completely incredible performance of that song I thought.

Posted by Anonymous | June 19, 2009 3:45 PM

Andrew Bird... holy hell. The man is a genius. So versatile and ever-evolving. We got to see a totally different side of him in this enormous venue: the rock star side. Only complaint was the strobe-ish lighting during Anonanimal. It was extremely distracting and harsh. Also, I would have liked some more solo stuff. "Why" was my favorite song of the evening and I wanted MORE of that delicious one-man-band.

Posted by Anonymous | June 19, 2009 5:28 PM

He played dark matter either right before or right after Sweetbreads- I can't remember. It was an amazing show, but did anyone else think that Andrew Bird was totally stoned?

Posted by Elizabeth | June 19, 2009 5:53 PM

Andrew Bird, live at Radio City MEHsic Hall!

Posted by Anonymous | June 19, 2009 5:56 PM

Yes, I think Sweetbreads led directly into Dark Matter. I found Calexico to be nothing special at all, save for a couple of their more traditional southwestern/mariachi type pieces. I also felt the lead singer of Calexico to be obnoxious when Andrew invited them to guest on those 3 songs, the lead singer of Calexico kept leaning in like he wanted to be in the spotlight and get attention for himself. And whoever the sound engineer for Calexico was didn't pick up ONE NOTE from the marimba. If I hadn't have actually SEEN the guy playing it, I would've never known it was in the band.
It was my first time seeing AB live, but I've watched gazillions of his concerts on YouTube so kind of felt like I knew what to expect. It was definitely different last night. And I know he changes the songs every time he performs them, and that's cool - but if I didn't know better that I'm pretty sure he's a clean guy who doesn't do drugs... he did seem stoned on several occasions. I realize he's no live wire in real life, that he's quiet and such... but it seemed like he lost his focus a couple times and actually tripped over himself twice. That being said - he is my favorite artist by far. He has more talent and performance ability in his pinky finger than Calexico will ever hope to have. Dosh's drums were mesmerizing, and the lighting was definitely very cool (with the exception of the strobes during Anonanimal as someone pointed out). Loved the very opening with the single old-fashioned light bulb. I look forward to seeing AB again the future, hopefully in a smaller venue. We were in the 4th row of the center orchestra, but I'd love to be closer and in a more intimate setting. All in all though - a job well done!

Posted by Anonymous | June 19, 2009 6:15 PM

Andrew Bird played the short violin duet piece, On Ho!, before Oh No.

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2009 10:24 PM

About 90% capacity, by my guess. It felt full once the concert got going. "On Ho!" before "Oh, No" is right!

Posted by Patty | June 22, 2009 5:31 PM

I still don't think he's right for a huge venue like RCMH. Carnegie Hall was pushing it. I can't enjoy him anywhere larger than the size of MHOW. It was such an amazing treat to see him at MHOW right before Carnegie Hall back in January!! I hope he does a solo tour in more intimate settings at some point!

Posted by Anonymous | June 23, 2009 1:26 AM

Radio City ticket buyers should check their email for a link to a download of an Andrew Bird show from earlier this year. Free dl courtesy of his record company.

Posted by drewo | June 23, 2009 1:40 PM

Thought Radio City was too big a venue. "Why" was favorite. I'm going in October to Electric Factory in Phil. much smaller but not great sound.

Posted by Anonymous | July 4, 2009 8:37 PM

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