Andrew Bird's Pocket Symphony

Andrew Bird opened his set by playing a violin. Not the first time the instrument has been used at this year's festival, as the Foo Fighters incorporated one during last night's performance. But this was different: violin featured front and center by a former child prodigy-turned-rock frontman.

Bird played dynamic, operatic chamber-pop songs that used traditional rock instruments in addition to triangle, clarinet and that violin, which he occasionally finger-picked.

Playing with a trio, Bird punctuated most of the songs with pitch-perfect whistling and also played electric guitar. But the set's most striking instrument was his high, aching voice, which frequently soared.

-- J. Freedom du Lac

By David Malitz |  August 10, 2008; 1:53 PM ET Virgin Festival
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