Andrew Bird and Madison Cunningham

Fourth Presbyterian Church // Chicago, IL // December 10th, 2019

The yearly tradition continues!

If you live in Chicago, you know that winters can be terrible. You can never quite prepare yourself for that first gust of subzero wind or the first time the sun goes down at 4pm. But, there are some amazing moments to look forward to that you can only experience in this great city. Thanks to Andrew Bird, we can rely on the yearly tradition of Gezelligheid at the Fourth Presbyterian Church.

Gezelligheid is a Dutch word that means “coziness” and “comfort”, and Andrew Bird certainly delivers this every winter. Bird’s week-long residence at the church is filled with beautiful music, pews of happy fans, and hundreds of Christmas lights. This year, singer-songwriter Madison Cunningham opened the show with her melodic, slightly haunting music. The song that stuck with me, titled “December is a Feeling”, was a bit tongue-in-cheek for us Chicagoans, as Cunningham described her envy for our snowy, cold winters.

Madison Cunningham and Andrew Bird. Photo by Kate Scott

Andrew Bird’s presence onstage is extraordinary. He’s quiet, humble, and wry, yet he can command an entire church to be eerily silent. Playing hits from his newest album, My Finest Work Yet, Bird’s voice and violin were perfectly in sync. It’s hypnotic to watch Bird play the violin; it feels like you’re seeing an extension of his body, a natural part of him that he was born with.

Andrew Bird. Photo by Kate Scott

One of the highlights of the evening for me was the delightful addition of Christmas and winter songs, specifically the iconic Schoolhouse Rock song “Figure 8”. I softly sang along and felt a rush of nostalgia that stayed with me for the entire evening. Cunningham joined Bird onstage several times to play more Christmas hits like “Skating” from A Charlie Brown Christmas. The entire show was over 2 hours long; by the end of the night, no one wanted to leave the warm light of the church. Andrew Bird achieved the impossible: he succeeded in making Chicagoans forget about the bitter cold outside.

Andrew Bird. Photo by Kate Scott

Andrew Bird will be in Chicago until March filming season 4 of Fargo.

Madison Cunningham will be back in Chicago on January 30. For tickets and more info, click HERE.