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The sun was beginning its descent, fans were sauntering in, beer and food was bought from the vendors, folks set up their mini-picnics, fears of rain were mostly unfounded, and the stage, the Summerstage if you will, was set for a lovely evening of neo-folkiness.
Stepping away from his Brooklyn-based indie band Here We Go Magic for a bit, Luke Temple opened up the show, strumming along with a drummer. He got an appreciative response, albeit on the level expected from a crowd filing in and mostly there to see Andrew Bird, or those families and their brood who just happened in for breezy outside music in the summertime.
Bird strolled on solo for the first few songs, playing violin or guitar, all along doing that sweet whistling thing he does. The crowd slowly started gathering up their picnic gear and blankets and scooted closer to the stage. Bird’s band, the Hands of Glory, appeared around the fourth song brandishing pedal steel guitar, upright bass, drums and guitar. Though Bird just released his new album, Things Are Really Great Here, Sort Of… (Wegawam) last month, he often verbally referenced Temple’s 2013 solo album, Good Mood Fool (Secretly Canadian). In any case, the crowd loved it all.
The encore offered three songs—including Cathedrals, a Handsome Family cover off the new Bird album—with the band members huddling around one mic all folky hoedown style. The crowd started clapping along, and the full complement of musicians came out for the final song, Don’t Be Scared. The staff cleared the crowd out quickly, but it was probably past the kids’ bedtime anyway. Basically, a perfectly pleasant outdoor summertime show.
Photos by Kassy Balli.