Catching up on concerts

Due to hacking problems and, well, real life, I fell behind last week on reporting about some concerts I saw in Chicago. Here’s my review in the Southtown Star newspaper of the April 10 concert by Andrew Bird at the Civic Opera House. Yes, as a few people have pointed out, the tone of my review is quite different from what Jim DeRogatis wrote in the Sun-Times about the previous night’s show. I like Bird. DeRo does not.

Photos of Andrew Bird.

The night before, I attended an invite-only show by St. Vincent at the Hideout, where she previewed some of the songs on her new CD. What a talented musician and singer she is — doing looping layers of orchestration (sort of like Andrew Bird) on some tunes, playing solo piano on others. She ended the set by sitting on the lip of the stage with an acoustic guitar, singing without the aid of a microphone. And it sounded perfectly lovely.

Photos of St. Vincent.

And on both of these nights, I happened to see A Hawk and a Hacksaw. The group played the late show at the Hideout on April 9, and then they played a similar set in much grander surroundings the following night, opening for Andrew Bird at the opera. Both sets were lively, with lots of Balkan and Eastern European melodies dancing with lightning speed across the accordion keys and violin frets. Alas, the band failed in its efforts to get people to dance on both night, but it certainly wasn’t the fault of the music.

Photos of a Hawk and a Hacksaw.

On the agenda for this weekend: Robyn Hitchcock and the Venus 3 Saturday at Logan Square Auditorium, and the Handsome Family Sunday at Schubas, plus assorted fun at Record Store Day.

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