Andrew Bird, Stubb’s
Simply put, we were blown away by Andrew Bird’s performance; it was singularly the most intellectual and all-worldly performance we caught at SXSW. For starters, the stage was littered with Janus Horn and XL Horn phonograph-esque speakers (custom-made by Specimen Products). Bird makes you rethink the concept of what it means to be a performing musician. He layers live loops of his Gibson ES-125 and plays unexpected instruments like the xylophone, banjo and the flute. He also whistles like, you guessed it, a bird and uses his voice like an instrument. In Austin, Bird used an assortment of amps and effects, including a Schroeder DB-7 head, two Schroeder prototype heads, a Music Man 4x10 combo and a ZVex Box of Rocks pedal. It was an odd and wonderfully impressive show.