Andrew started the set with "Oh No," the only track being previewed from his new album, Noble Beast (scheduled for release in January on Fat Possum). Self described circus-punk marching band Mucca Pazza was there, which at first I didn't understand, because there was no way that entire band would fit on the tiny Hideout stage with Andrew and crew, but then he revealed that that they were filming a music video for one of the new songs, "Fitz and the Dizzy Spells." He explained that the video would be something along the lines of him shooting a flaming arrow from the top of The Hideout as a call for people to leave their jobs and congregate there for a party. He went through the song twice, and Mucca Pazza positioned themselves throughout the audience and danced with their instruments in the air. It was surreal from the middle of the room and I can't wait to see how cool it looked from outside the mob!
It was a comfortable show, Hideout co-owner Tim Tuten himself said that they didn't over sell it (how could they with all the members of Mucca Pazza mulling about!) and to make yourself at home, and that we did. It felt more like a house party, a gathering of friends than a typical concert, especially given the humble surroundings of The Hideout and Andrew's missteps, dialogue and equipment malfunctions. We even went out to the bar for a drink midway through the show, and then ran back in when I heard the opening beats of "Imitosis." He played for almost 2 hours, playing every song from the new album and treating us to a couple of my older favorites including "Fake Palindromes" and "A Nervous Tic Motion of the Head to the Left." I was also especially struck by the new song "Effigy," I don't really know why; maybe it was because he told us it was about the man that sits at the end of the bar writing poetry, and wondering what his story is.
After hearing the entire album, I'm excited for the release of Noble Beast next month. I'll probably even get the Deluxe Edition so I can get that bonus instrumental album that includes collaborations with another favorite artist of mine, Glenn Kotche.
**Tankboy took the photo above, and some great others you can view on Chicagoist. Although I didn't see any of the unicorn sweater...
**PS--Andrew is also going to be at The Hideout's Big Shoulders Ball in DC for the Presidential Inauguration!