Monday, April 23, 2012

Live Review: Andrew Bird/Laura Marling at the Rialto

Posted By on Mon, Apr 23, 2012 at 10:15 AM

Andrew Bird isn't too proud to bring on folksy covers of saints like Townes Van Zandt (“If I Needed You”) and the Handsome Family (“Too Much Wine”). But his Rialto set built almost entirely upon his new release Break it Yourself, the next new thing in a decade-long musical evolution that continues to lead fans into uncharted waters.

He opened Friday's set with something like a chamber quintet composition built in realtime with layers, loops and whistles, then eased the crowd in to the complexity of “Nyatiti,” named for a traditional Kenyan lyre. By the end, the song was the musical equivalent of a fireworks display; it's possible the band was levitating.

By contrast, the radio-ready “Lusitania” opened like a pop-country song—one of those everyone might feel they could sing. Then came “Eye on Eye,” an unmistakeable nod to Motown-era soul. Songs from Break It... were all standouts, for excitement, certainly, but also, if anyone cared, for technical proficiency.

Bird's mastered the hat trick: Somehow he makes songs that may incorporate several key changes and two or three time-signatures that are rarely heard in Western popular culture as accessible as unperfectable, three-minute pop.

But the breakaway crowd-pleaser was “Bein' Green,” which Bird may have put away for all time. If Kermit every sang it with that much soul, it would surely break your heart in two.

Opener Laura Marling evoked a '90s indie-girl Joan Baez—the same vocal reach but with with the whispers, grunts, cries and spoken word of the Cat Power/PJ Harvey aesthetic. Her guitar work drew cheers all by itself. As a preamble for Bird's complex dynamics, Marling was an inspired choice. Count us first in line for a return engagement as a headliner.

Tags: , , , , ,

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Previously in the Range

Today | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed
Mt. Lemmon SkyNights Adventure

Mt. Lemmon SkyNights Adventure @ Tohono Chul Park

Thu., March 23, 2:30-11 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

Staff Pick

Mt. Lemmon SkyNights Adventure

Learn about sunset points and star charts, while exploring celestial wonders like star clusters & distant galaxies… More

@ Tohono Chul Park Thu., March 23, 2:30-11 p.m. 7366 N. Paseo del Norte.

» More Picks

Submit an Event Listing

Popular Content

  1. Local Danish Bakery Serves Up Savory Desserts (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  2. Does This Mean We Can Call It McSallyCare Now? (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  3. Casa Video Top 10 (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  4. On the Theory and Practice of Bullshitting (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  5. Arizona ACA Enrollment Down 3.3 Percent. Cost For People With Subsidies Down 13.3 Percent. (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)

© 2017 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation