writing to know, knowing thru being, being for writing... this is me, writing about the one thing i know, which is myself... and even that is sometimes a mystery...

Friday, September 16, 2005

more sufjan stevens goodness for your friday night and weekend


so i wanted to post more pictures from the sufjan stevens / laura veirs concert along with a sweet review, but, for some reason, blogger's been having trouble with my pictures. so... you'll just have to settle for a sweet review. (i know, i know...)

so, i thought (in my naivete) that the sufjan concept wouldn't work for a live concert set. i mean, the way i figured, it's a concept album, you have to experience it in a specific sequence.

but, oh boy, was i wrong.

he started out with the fifty states song (to which people cheered at mention of their homestates. i ended up looking foolish when i was the only one who cheered for michigan (it being a mostly kentucky/ohio/indiana crowd). but what can i say? sufjan is from michigan. ergo, michigan=awesomeness.) then he transitioned smoothly into the rest of his set, after a seamless costume change (oo... cringe-worthy word choice there. sorry guys.)

the performance was amazing. the chemistry between all the members was palpable, infecting the audience with their charm and spunky energy. sufjan et al are remarkable performers and musicians, their stamina and generosity was scintillating, inspiring, causing me to drown into fits of ridiculous admiration, hand clapping, foot stomping and body swaying.

the setlist left something to be desired however. don't get me wrong, sufjan can do no wrong. every song he played was amazing and gorgeously poetic and lyrical, in true sufjan-style. but his song choice left me feeling disappointed, and thus surprised, rather than exuberantly satisfied. his bold exclusion of "come on! feel the illinoise!" and "john wayne gacy, jr." were definitely the boldest blows to the collective audience's expectations, as those seemed to be guaranteed features of recent performances. i wanted so desperately to hear him break into that elevating wail that makes "john wayne gacy" one of my favorite sufjan compositions, and felt that in his with-holding, i was left in a funky state of eargasmic limbo.

another one i kept listening for was "concerning the ufo sighting..." sufjan's intention for that track always intrigued me, and speaks volumes about his creative vision and intention, his poetic craft and his creative sensitivity. i think he shies away from performing this one live, but i still harbored a wild hope that maybe he would add it to his repertoire on that night.

one delectable surprise was his beautiful "predatory wasp of the palisades," which, though not as haunting as "john wayne gacy" or as instrumentally moving as "concerning...," was alluring, setting a good tone for the rest of his show, which, after many solidly performed tracks interspersed with endearing cheers, and a quiet encore of "to be alone with you" after strong, unabating five-minute-long applause, was still one of the best shows i have seen in recent memory.

which makes me excited for the magnificent sufjan stevens' 50 states of our grand union tour that will inevitably follow.

oh, how i cannot wait.



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