Bowl of Fire Live at the Grog Shop, Cleveland, OH 6/19/99

Review by Emily Hawthorne, First posted 6/22/99 to The Landing.

So Saturday night, Jess and I went to see Andrew Bird and his great Bowl of 
Fire.  It was AMAZING.  See, I had been awake for 36 hours going into the 
evening, because i had stayed up all of Friday night because of ASP (if you 
know what that is, MAJOR Emily points to you).  Needless to say i was a 
little tired.  So.  We went to RiteAid first to make copies of advertisements 
for the Shrub, which were distributed in a record store and the club.  In the 
record store, we tried to get some promo SNZ posters that were tacked to the 
wall BEHIND some other posters but the guy was like "i'm not supposed to."  

Anyway, on to the show.  Jess, being the goddess she is, got in free and had 
a photo privileges. Oh well, we can't all be that cool.  :)  It turns out 
that there are 2 opening bands, and i'm struggling to stay awake.  Jess kept 
buying me Cokes and i had to keep eating ice. The first band, the Vibrasonics 
(or something), was pretty country-like upbeat rockish and they were fun.  
Jess pointed out that Andrew was hanging out with himself in the back of the 
place by the mailing list sooooo....we decided to go sign it.  :)  We started 
talking to him (what a quiet guy!) and Jess was trying to say interesting 
stuff and i was just saying weird things like "i love your shoes" and 
"Chicago has everything" and then we talked about the opening bands some and 
stuff.  My favorite quote was when he said, "I love beer! I'm all about 
beer!" Let me remark that he is a pretty good-looking guy. Got a pic with 
him.  :)

The next band, the Handsome Family, came out and played. They're a guy and a 
gal from Chicago who write macabre songs with neat lyrics.  They were funny 
people...very nice, too. The girl kept saying funny things like "This song 
started out being about snow, but now it's about death."  

Oh yeah, there were like 20 people in the small club where we were. This 
couple next to us asked me where i got my shirt (the navy SNZ shirt with a 
can of Hot Swing on the front and stuff) and it turns out that they drove all 
the way from Pittsburgh for the show and they're just as obssessed with all 
things Zipper-like as Jess. Well, almost. We were proud.

Ok, Andrew came on finally around 12:30.  My head was spinning from 
tiredness. That is, until they started playing. I am totally digging that 
bowl of fire!  After the first song, Andrew joked around, saying that they 
were "feelgood band of America."  They are definitely a very good-looking 
group, but that's beside the point, right? Anyway.  The sound was tremendous 
and i was finally able to be active without eating ice.  Ahh, it was such a 
good time.  Jess took 48 pictures in all, including the 4 or 5 crappy shots 
that i took.  We felt all cool and stuff.  Jess also set up her little 
recorder to tape the show...and near the end of it, the drunk bassist from 
the first band jumps in front of us and yells "THANKS FOR COMING OUT!"  RIGHT 
into the mic.  He tries to give us a big drunken hug and i was like "um, 
thanks for playing."  We laugh.  The set ended around 2 am and i went and 
asked Kevin the drummer if i could snag Andrew's setlist. Since they played 
songs from the new album, i'll just recreate exactly what Andrew wrote on the 

T & T
Cock o'the Walk
Coney Island     (you're gonna love this one!)
Idiot's Genius
Wishing for C.   (Contentment)
Fatal Flower
50 Pieces
The Confession
FNB           (?)
After          (cover of After You've Gone...on Kat's CD)
Cuanto       (Latin jam, baby! this was the fiesty encore)

And somewhere in there, Jess and I got Andrew to play Glass Figurine (yay!) 
and Minor Stab.  Tres cool.  After the show, the four guys hung around and we 
got to talk and hang out for a little bit.  Because i'm cool like that, I had 
my Thrills CD with me and got them all to sign it.  They wrote cool things on 
it.  And because i'm nice like that, I gave Jess my liner notes for her to 
get their sigs too. :)   Andrew is a little difficult to talk to at first, 
but he was still cool.  The other 3 guys, Josh the bass player, Kevin the 
drummer, and Colin the guitar boy were soo nice.  I was even talking to Colin 
about how long i had been awake and how much they made it all worthwhile.  
Kevin was the nicest of all.  The moral of the story is: go and catch Andrew 
if you can! It'll be intimate and fun, even if you get home at 3:30 am and 
you were up for 43 hours.  Hopefully the pics will turn out great and 

The only things I remember about the ride home were us listening to ourselves 
on the tape of the show, Belle and Sebastian, and Jess rolling down my window 
and steering into the path of sprinklers on the side of the road.

Thanks Jess.

"Uh, Emily, are you going to be able to remember this show?"

See Jess's Pictures of the show!

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