Among all the hoopla of this week’s Rock Hall inductions, it’s easy to forget that there's other music and concerts going on around town. Everyone knows about Metallica and Run-DMC coming to town tomorrow, but for the 800 or so that turned up for Andrew Bird’s concert at the Allen Theatre last night, they were treated to a different kind of rock all together.
Bird, a talented multi-instrumentalist, and his three bandmates pieced together lush, folksy songs using an array of instruments and tools. Bird shuffled between violin, guitar and even xylophone, accompanying himself with his whimsical tenor and pitch-perfect whistle, often looping and layering himself while his band provided rhythm and bass.
Playing many of the tracks from his latest album, Noble Beast, Bird was meticulous in his execution, whistling into his microphone to begin “Oh No” or gushing during “Fitz and the Dizzspells.” He was at this best, though, when he performed without the band as a solo troubadour, like he did to start the 105-minute concert and during the encore.
The set did begin to wane about halfway through, as the songs started to run together, but Bird was able to break up the monotony with sly, self-deprecating humor. He joked with several audience members who requested songs and was comfortable sharing that he just performed a whistle while inhaling for the first time onstage.
To end the night, Bird’s band returned for “Tables and Chairs,” an obvious fan favorite that sent the crowd into the night appreciating Bird's singular talent. —Aaron Mendelsohn