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Get Intimate with Andrew Bird

By Sarah Cobarrubias in Arts & Entertainment on Dec 8, 2009 9:20PM

Photo via Bird's official site
Our beloved Andrew Bird is coming home to Chicago next week to end his long U.S. tour. This time around, he's playing the Fourth Presbyterian Church for a series of four shows built around the concept of Gezelligheid, a Dutch term that loosely translates to "coziness." Bird will be performing solo, concentrating mostly on instrumental violin pieces. He'll use ambient lighting in place of the church's overhead lighting, and he'll completely abandon the traditional P.A. system, instead amplifying his sound through the giant horns that usually accompany him on stage. Along with the church's gorgeous carved stone interior and Gothic revival architecture, this promises to be an unforgetabe and intimate experience.

But, why a church? No one explains it more gracefully than Bird himself:

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.

This will be the last chance to see Bird in Chicago before he kicks off his two-month Austraulian/European tour. Sadly, all four shows are sold out of regular tickets, but as Bird's official site states, "we do sometimes release tickets at the box office on the day of the show." Or if you're willing to settle, you can still purchase audio-only tickets for the last three shows for $25. These seats have obstructed or no view of the stage, but you'll still be able to hear bird's orchestral compositions, get all warm and comfy with the Bird-lovers around you, and maybe catch up with him afterward for some post-show pictures and swooning.

Andrew Bird plays Dec. 14-17 at Fourth Presbyterian Church, 126 East Chestnut, 8 p.m., $25 audio-only tickets, all ages