Andrew Bird’s Cozy Church Shows

Most people go to church in December to celebrate Christmas or to get on Santa’s good list. Singer-songwriter Andrew Bird is headed to church to play a series of intimate solo shows with the goal of achieving a bit of coziness, or as the Dutch say – Gezelligheid.

An announcement about the shows explains the concerts are based on the concept of Gezelligheid. “Gezelligheid is a Dutch term that can only be approximately translated into English using the word ‘coziness,’ a term that fails to fully describe the more intensely warm, amicable and joyous atmosphere the word expresses in its native language.”

Bird plans to play mostly instrumental violin pieces. He will use signature giant horns to amplify the sound rather than a typical P.A. and ambient light sources rather than traditional overhead lighting.

The Gezelligheid Concerts take place Dec. 10 and 11 at Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral in Minneapolis and Dec. 15-17 at Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago.

Photo: Doug Seymour
Theatre of the Living Arts, Philadelphia, Pa.

“What I hope to do with these shows is adapt my music completely to the atmosphere of the space and the season. I’m inspired to do this based on childhood memories of performing Handel’s Messiah in various churches on an annual basis,” Bird said.

“The music will be mostly original instrumentals using my voice only to intone. I want the audience to be both lifted and comforted as we head into another cold and dark winter. I feel the space should be sacred so the audience can experience my music in a different atmosphere.”

Before playing the Gezelligheid Concerts, Bird has a number of U.S. dates on the books followed by a European tour. The U.S. dates include South Portland High School in South Portland, Maine (Oct. 24), Electric Factory in Philadelphia (Oct. 25) and 9:30 Club in Washington D.C. (Oct. 28). The shows feature St. Vincent as support.

The European tour kicks off with two shows at Union Chapel in London Nov. 10-11 and wraps up Nov. 24 at Sala Apolo in Barcelona, Spain.

Bird also has an Australian tour lined up for late December/early January as well as shows in Singapore, China and Japan.

You can catch both Bird and St. Vincent on “Austin City Limits” this Saturday. Bird is also set to appear on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” Oct. 30.
Click here for Andrew Bird’s website.