Andrew Bird to wrap U.S. tour with Minneapolis church shows


Andrew Bui

Andrew Bird--violinist, singer, being of supreme leisure.

There are few artists as ethereal, as heady, and as hard-working as Andrew Bird. He's been touring his 2009 release Noble Beast, trotting across the globe and across the domestic heartland for entire seasons, and he has now announced that his final shows will be acoustic, instrumental performances of unusual intimacy and atmosphere.

Bird performing "Fake Palindromes" at Bonnaroo.

From Bird's press release:

"What I hope to do with these shows is adapt my music completely to the atmosphere of the space and the season. I'm inspired to do this based on childhood memories of performing Handel's Messiah in various churches on an annual basis. The music will be mostly original instrumentals using my voice only to intone. I want the audience to be both lifted and comforted as we head into another cold and dark winter. I feel the space should be sacred so the audience can experience my music in a different atmosphere."

The shows will take place on December 10 and 11 at Saint Mark's Episcopal church, the gothic, spired temple that faces the Walker Art Center. Rather than performing through a P.A., Bird will perform through his giant horns, which have been staples of his live performance in a visual and sonic capacity for years.

These sorts of shows have a classical name: Gezellgheid. And like lots of those fussy Germanic words, it has only a loose translation into English--"coziness." But that word seems a little too genteel and impotent for an artist of Bird's powers. Given the atmosphere of the final church shows, we'll use the biblical term that seems appropriate: "awesome."