5 star show – Sufjan Stevens (Live)


Sufjan Stevens (pronounce Sufjan – Souf-Jan) What a gig. Not a bad review has been seen of this gig, anywhere. ANd you will be pleased to findout this wont be the first one. The Guardian, no less, have given the sufjan gig 5 stars out of five.

This being the first night Of Sufjan and His Illinoisemakers European tour.
It could all have went Horribly wrong.
This was the tour to support the album Illinoise which is one of my albums of the year.
It could all have went Horribly wrong.
I was really excited about this gig. (really excited and nervous, great expectations and all.)
It could all have went Horribly wrong.

But it didnt.

On the album there is layer upon layer of instruement and sounds and harmonies all setting teh scene for ultimately simple tunes & melodies and sufjans voice. In the live setting this is more so the case. but everything is works so well.

I had an idea about the unifroms but the live cheerleading was immensly funny, but also Informative. Sufjan is a folk signer. (by that I mean the folk tradition is to sing the songs of an area georaphically or a people group. SOngs about the people or the places.) His songs reflect the geographical, social, political and cultural events of history of a choosen place. I don’t know much about Illinoise but his pre song intro or his cheer intros gave you the back ground to move further into the song without feeling like you had just had a lecture.

The badn worked extremely hard. The band all seemed to sing harmonies and play multipule instruments. something all during the same song. But even just in the stage craft. (A while ago I had a conversation with ali from poor old ben about stagecraft and putting on a performance) Sufjans Band did that. from eye contact, to clapping at the end of songs, to celebrating together after a fine performance but mostly in the small touches. most memorably when sufjan would tune up his banjo or guitar.The abnd would all perform streches, the tuning up a cheer leading squad would do between cheers.

Yeah it sounds weird but it really does work and really makes a difference. But It is the songs that make a night and what a night it was. Sufjans 50 states project by definition is a folk project. The fact his work is accessable, tuneful and downright touching is awesome. Some of his Illinoise stuff needs silence, which he was given by the crowd mostly. Some was funky. all was dripping with class.

At the end I stole a poster.

Looking back what a night! If I had one complaint The Venue(oran mor) would be it. It just didn’t feel like I expected it should. perhpas given more time I will like it more.

But as for the show.
5 star indeed.

2 thoughts on “5 star show – Sufjan Stevens (Live)

  1. I totally agree.

    An evening of quality entertainment, performance and music.

    More than just a gig… a show? The music was powerful, but all the trimmings definitely enhanced the experience.

  2. Yeah, I enjoy his music immensely. I have yet to see him live, though this must be the 20th time I’ve seen a blog or website give a great review of his concerts.

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