concert review

Concert Review – Andrew Bird at Ravinia


Last night this writer had the privilege of going to Ravinia for the first time and seeing an evening concert with Mucca Pazza, Esperanza Spalding, and headliner Andrew Bird.

Photo Credit: the artist

Mucca Pazza is a local Chicago act that is best described as a rock and roll band in a marching band’s body.  The 30 plus members include traditional marching band instruments such as brass and woodwinds, but there are also strings and accordions.  They are an interactive experience, and get the toes tapping.

Photo Credit: the artist

Esperanza Spalding, winner of four Grammy awards including Best New Artist in 2011, is a jazz powerhouse.  A skilled multi-instrumentalist, she generally alternates between double bass and electric bass in her performances.  She debuted a song cycle of intriguing new material in her performance at Ravinia.

Rolling Meadows currently owns two of her albums, click the photos below to find our catalog record for each!



Photo Credit: Reuben Cox/NPR

Andrew Bird is a Chicagoland native and graduate of Northwestern University who has been performing his unique brand of violin-driven folk rock since 2003 as a solo artist.  In the late nineties he was featured on three Squirrel Nut Zippers albums, and performed with the band Andrew Bird’s Bowl of Fire.  He is an expert whistler, which features in his work, and he wrote and performed “The Whistling Caruso” for the 2011 film The Muppets.

His live show was extremely engaging, with a good mix of older and newer material.  Most of the songs were his original material, with one cover of the Handsome Family‘s “My Sister’s Little Hands”, and an encore with Esperanza Spalding of a Duke Ellington piece.  As a fan of his for a while, this writer appreciated the inclusion of a few of his “classics.”

Rolling Meadows currently owns two of his albums, click the photos below to find our catalog record for each!


It was a very enjoyable evening on Ravinia’s lawn for all.  Rolling Meadows Library has Ravinia ticket giveaways every year, generally at the beginning of the summer.  The venue hosts concerts like this one of popular music, as well as performances by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, other classical ensembles, and master classes.  It is an outdoor venue, so come prepared, rain or shine!