Andrew Bird @ Hyde Park, Chicago 5-17-08

by Jeremy Farmer

Last week I was offered a rather unique opportunity. This opportunity was to exclusively shoot a show that seemingly no one else knew about. I live in Chicago and think I am pretty up on the bands that come through town, especially those that are based just a few blocks away from where I live. This apparently is not the case. Andrew Bird, never one to shy away from Chicago shows, had his band with him and played an hour plus set on the grounds of the University of Chicago in historic Hyde Park. And here I thought I had to wait until September to see them play! (No, they are not currently booked for Lollapalooza, or Pitchfork fest.) There I was, at the spot of the birthplace of the atomic age (yes, the atom was first split not a few hundred yards from this green, architecturally profound place… but no need to make this a history lesson) surrounded by over a thousand college kids, hands stuffed with free Kraft sandwiches (thankfully the beer was free with admission). The show started off with a concise set by The Cool Kids (Unfortunately, I only have some far away shots of them).

Bird came on in early evening, accompanied by multi-instrumentalist Martin Dosh and bassist/ guitarist Jeremy Ylvisaker. The set focused on later material from 2006’s Armchair Apocrypha and last falls tour EP Soldier On. While I didn’t record the set list, I did shoot the whole show. And these are the photos!

Talib Kweli and Cake played after Bird’s set, but unfortunately the show got a little too wet and cold for most of us, but the sun did shine for Bird! The name of the event was Summer Breeze, and I respect their optimism, what with summer being a month away. It was a wonderful precursor to this wonderful summer festival season I know I will be taking complete part in. Hope to see you all out there with me!

View more photos here: full set / slideshow

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