Concert Review: Andrew Bird and Haley Bonar @ the State Theater

By the end of Andrew Bird‘s show Saturday night (April 11, 2009) at the State Theater in downtown Minneapolis you could have heard a pin drop. It wasn’t as though nobody was cheering because it was bad, for anybody who’s seen an Andrew Bird show before knows how amazing he is live. It was his double encore featuring the mesmerizing “Weather Systems” that put the crowd in a state of comatose as the man went to work with his violin and beautiful voice. 

But as any good night begins, the opening act has to deliver as well. Haley Bonar, the Minneapolis native, took charge of the audience from her first track, commanding the crowd with her easy voice and shoe stomping music. I had written a little bit about a one Alela Diane a little while back, and Ms. Bonar reminded me exactly of her. And in a good way too, the way that the musician’s talent and enjoyable music can overcome the fact that their genre of music isn’t something I usually listen to. She played a great set, slow and fast paced songs, timely lyrics and a fun laid back attitude all combined to make her a welcome surprise.

andrew-bird-left-chestIt wasn’t just the fact that Andrew Bird’s encore seemed endless, it was everything leading up to that which was perfection as well. The way the man is able to create music, and piece together different violin lines or whistling sequences is astounding. Most of this has all been said before, it seems to be common knowledge that Bird is amazing live, but to finally see it in person I feel like I have to rave about it. How crystal clear he is able to keep his sound and the way his voice commands so much energy throughout the entire set also surprised me. Though he changed the tempo of delivery on a few lyrics, the way his voice actually sounds is just as beautiful as it is on record. He had a great rapport with the crowd, joking intermittently between nearly every track, somethings that few artists are able to capture. Of course I could gripe about what songs he did or didn’t play (just to note, I would have loved to have heard more Bowl of Fire and Armchair Apocrypha tracks) but I won’t get into that too much. I feel truly grateful and honored just to see him perform, Andrew Bird has a great gift and to be able to share that amount of time with him is a great feeling. The show was a spectacle of all that is concert going: perfect weather, an above awesome venue, an anxious and diverse crowd, an opening act that is surprisingly awesome, and most of all a great set from the big performer. Oh, and did I mention the encores too? I thought so. 

Check out some great videos,  one of “Imitosis” and the other of “Fake Palindromes”,  & awesome pictures of each act below. Sorry if you had to miss it, but enjoy these nice keepsakes!

Video: Andrew Bird – “Fake Palindromes”

Video: Andrew Bird – “Imitosis”

Haley Bonar

andrew-bird-right-guitar(Andrew Bird)

andrew-bird-straight-wave(Andrew Bird)

andrew-bird-left-wide(Andrew Bird)

andrew-bird-left-guitar(Andrew Bird)

andrew-bird-straight-wide(Andrew Bird)

andrew-bird-face(Andrew Bird)

andrew-bird-face-whistle(Andrew Bird)

andrew-bird-crowd(Andrew Bird)

haley-bonar(Haley Bonar

haley-bonar-tambourine(Haley Bonar)

Continue reading after the jump for more photos and a complete set list from the show…

andrew-bird-left-red-horn(Andrew Bird)

andrew-bird-alone(Andrew Bird)

andrew-bird-drummer(Andrew Bird)

andrew-bird-guitar-red(Andrew Bird)

andrew-bird-left-guitar-blurry(Andrew Bird)

andrew-bird-right-violin(Andrew Bird)

andrew-bird-right-with-guitarist(Andrew Bird)

andrew-bird-violin-and-whistle(Andrew Bird)

andrew-bird-right-drummer(Andrew Bird)

andrew-bird-singers(Andrew Bird and Haley Bonar)

haley-bonar-wide(Haley Bonar)

haley-bonar-piano(Haley Bonar)


1. (?) 
2. Masterfade
3. Fitz & Dizzyspells
4. A Nervouse Tick Motion of the Head To the Left 
5. Natural Disaster
6. Effigy
7. Oh No
8. Nomenclature
9. Armchairs
10. (?)
11. Imitosis
12. Scythian Empire
Encore 1. Why? & Tables and Chairs
Encore 2. Weather Systems


2 Responses to “Concert Review: Andrew Bird and Haley Bonar @ the State Theater”

  1. what an incredible show.
    i believe 10 was fake palindromes
    he also finished off the first encore with “dont be scared”
    no clue what he opened with but made my jaw drop. wowww

  2. Awesome performance demonstrating genuine talent!

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