CONCERT: Sufjan Stevens at the Wiltern Theatre

To be honest I don’t quite know what I was expecting from Sufjan Stevens this past Saturday. I certainly wasn’t expecting so much dancing.

Nearly all the dancing was by Sufjan and his band that is. I have never encountered such a static and unmoving crowd. People weren’t even nodding their heads. (Having never seen the man before, is there a Sufjan concert rule I’m not aware of, no dancing or something like that? Its like The ArchAndroid never happened.)

Its all really a shame too because when performing the songs from his latest album Sufjan moved. I don’t quite now how to describe his dance moves, which maybe, like the man himself, were entirely unique.

During the non-Age of Adz tracks (which there were few of) Sufjan stood fairly motionless in the center of the stage with guitar or banjo around his neck but still delivered like only Sufjan can.

In between tracks Sufjan gave insights into The Age of Adz, the influences, the themes, and what he was trying to do as well as not trying to do while making the album. (Chris already did an excellent job covering these.)

The true highlight came with the 25 minute + “Impossible Soul.” As Chris noted this song is an epic and performed live it is absolutely electric. On the way out of the theatre I heard a few people criticizing Sufjan’s use of auto-tune during that song, which is a shame, because that has to be one of my favorite moments on the album. Sufjan puts T-Pain and Antoine Dodson to shame.

The most jarring moment of the evening came with the finale. Lynsey and I both thought to ourselves as Sufjan started “John Wayne Gacy, Jr” that this couldn’t be the last song of the evening, this wouldn’t be the song to end it all on. Well it was. Chilling.

mp3: Sufjan Stevens – Futile Devices
from the album The Age of Adz (buy it here)

mp3: John Wayne Gacy, Jr – Sufjan Stevens
from the album Illinois (buy it here)

Click on for the setlist.

Sufjan Steven’s setlist – Oct. 23rd 2010:

Seven Swans

Too Much

Age of Adz

Heirloom

I Walked

Futile Devices

Vesuvius

Now That I’m Older

Get Real Get Right

Enchanting Ghost

Impossible Soul

Chicago

ENCORE:

Concerning the UFO Siting Near Highland, IL

Casimir Pulaski Day

The Dress Looks Nice on You

John Wayne Gacy, Jr.

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  1. Will’s avatar

    Man, I saw Sufjan in Oakland a few days later and it totally blew my mind. Dude is a genius. So artistic. The more electronic stuff translate to the live setting incredibly well — it sounded just as organic and beautiful as the classic Illinoise type material. So I’m wondering: are there any live recordings of this tour (or any tour) floating around? I would love to be able to listen to the Adz/Delighted People songs in the live versions again.

  2. Brook’s avatar

    sooo jealous
    i heard it was epic

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