Andrew Bird brings friendship and fellowship to a five-night stint in his former hometown | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

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Andrew Bird brings friendship and fellowship to a five-night stint in his former hometown

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During his own migration season—roughly every Yuletide season—Los Angeles resident Andrew Bird brings his whistling songs and violin back to the city where he first took flight. He always seems to shine for the hometown crowd, and his four-night residency at downtown’s beautiful Fourth Presbyterian Church provides a large number of local fans the chance to see him in an intimate setting. The theme of the shows is “Gezelligheid,” a Dutch word that has no precise English equivalent, but means both fellowship and reunion with old friends. On Friday, things get even cozier at Bird’s sold-out, wait-listed Foundations of Music benefit concert at the Hideout, a venue that was one of his favorite nesting places before his following became too big to fit inside its snug perimeters. Bird is as prolific and inventive as ever; these performances will feature music from 2016’s accessible and open-hearted Are You Serious? and from the second installment in his site-specific instrumental Echolocations series, Echolocations: River, released this fall. Recorded while Bird was standing in the Los Angeles River, the latter shows his instrumental prowess to as great effect as its 2015 predecessor, Echolocations: Canyon, and brings the sensory aspects of the landscape together in its sound. His holiday homecoming concerts celebrate his whole career, so along with the recent material, expect to see lots of reunions, throwbacks, and deep cuts.   v

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