Saturday, Sept. 15, Zilker park
Reviewed by David Lynch, Fri., Sept. 21, 2007
Andrew Bird must have freaked his shit: Three years ago he was solo at Hole in the Wall during South by Southwest, and here he led fellow multi-instrumentalists Martin Dosh and Jeremy Ylvisaker through a rapturous ACL set. Like fellow Midwesterner Joseph Arthur, Chicago's Bird got noticed as an emotive singer-songwriter who paints with on-the-fly loops. And like Arthur, who played ACL Friday, Bird has since graduated to band leader and to great effect, given the 10,000-strong throng galvanized by his trio. Drawing from a half-dozen LPs, including the fresh Armchair Apocrypha on Fat Possum, Bird offered what he calls pop science, i.e., witty, learned lyrics, Suzuki-schooled fiddle, and looped samples. It's no exaggeration that at least a dozen live and digital flavors emanated from the stage simultaneously, which would make for insipid noise in lesser hands. Bird also remains the best whistler in all indie rock, and his vox, particularly in "A Nervous Tic Motion of the Head to the Left," from the Ani DiFranco-released Andrew Bird & the Mysterious Production of Eggs, brought to mind the melancholy of Jeff Buckley.