Uncharted territory 

Andrew Bird, Bobby Bare Jr.
Music Mill
Sunday, Jan. 14

While his longevity and style don’t necessarily place him into a difficult listening category, Andrew Bird is the kind of artist who would often be overlooked by Indianapolis and, in turn, overlook Indianapolis in charting his tour.

Opening for Bird Sunday at the Music Mill was Bobby Bare Jr., who played a road-worn style of down-and-out, singer-songwriter blues. Though he played an acoustic guitar and was accompanied only by a keyboard player, the pop punch inherent in Bare’s songwriting easily cut through the big audience.

Bird then took the stage, looking like an aged Harry Potter. His sidemen were notable Minneapolis-based musicians Martin Dosh (drums, keyboard) and guitarist Jeremy Ylvisaker (Fog, Redstart). Despite such talented cohorts, the center of attention rested on the instrumental prowess of Bird, who began his set with an extended instrumental as segue into “A Nervous Tic Motion of the Head to the Left” from his last album, Mysterious Production of Eggs. This set up the kind of aural atmosphere that would be created all night.

The Indianapolis stop was the second on a short tour Bird is on to get the songs from his upcoming album, Armchair Apocrypha (due out on Fat Possum in March), road-ready.

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