Sufjan Stevens

I saw Sufjan Stevens live at the Orpheum theater in Vancouver BC last night. I bought tickets prior to the announcement of Age of Adz, assuming it would be a tour of old songs that I love. Instead, it was a tour of almost entirely new songs. Only three songs from Illinois appeared, and only four old songs total. I’d read up on the setlists from previous shows before and was worriedly expecting it. But the unexpected happened, and his new songs translated very well to the live stage and left me with a greater enjoyment of them than I had before.

His stage persona is far more powerful than it was during the Illinois era, and his awkward dance moves added to entertainment. He’s a very, very strange man. He joked about coming from a long line of prophets and fearing that “George Michael would come down from the sky and strike [him] blind with a blast of candy canes.” He discussed in length the lyrical content of his new album, insulted the audience, and made generally odd comments throughout the evening.

He played all of the 28 minute long Impossible Soul, something I had dreaded before the show but loved during it. That was followed by Chicago, and that one-two punch was the best part of the night.

The only issue I took with the show was the inconsistency of it. It was always a little better than decent, but the occasional moments of brilliance took away from that and showed how good it could have been. Opener Seven Swans was incredibly gorgeous and overpowering, whereas the following rendition of Age of Adz was a little less so. This back and forth trick continued throughout the entire hour and a half.

Sufjan isn’t the best show I’ve seen, but hes in the top 10. Not quite top 5 material, but he was definitely well worth my time and money. I’m still kinda bummed that I missed Deerhunter on Wednesday at the Showbox, but whatever. I’ve spent enough money on this stuff lately anyways.

~ by Andrew Baer on October 29, 2010.

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