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Concert Report – Sufjan Stevens @ Kingsbury Hall in Salt Lake City, Nov 1 2010

November 2, 2010

Sufjan Stevens, the man himself, showed up in Salt Lake City last night. Was it incredible in every way? Pretty much. Sufjan and crew (11 or so supporting musicians) were dressed for Halloween, which included Sufjan wearing feather wings and leather pants. Seeing as The Age of Adz was released under a month ago, I expected mostly newer stuff from Stevens; this ended up being a true prediction. The setlist was as follows:

Seven Swans
Too Much
Age of Adz
Heirloom
I Walked
Now That I’m Older
Vesuvius
Get Real Get Right
Enchanting Ghost
Futile Devices
The Owl and the Tanager
Impossible Soul
Chicago

*encore*

Concerning the UFO Sighting Near Highland, Illinois
Jacksonville
John Wayne Gacy, Jr.

As you can see, pretty much his entire set consisted of Age of Adz or All Delighted People tracks, minus the two book-enders. At the beginning of the encore he thanked the crowd for putting up with a track list consisting of mostly new songs, and proceeded to play some old favorites.

Most upbeat songs were accompanied by assorted video clips projected behind the musicians, including crazy neon dance clips of Sufjan and animated versions of artist Royal Robinson’s space influenced images. These videos added greatly overall, and blended well with Sufjan’s newest album.

Sufjan spent a lot of time explaining the background to Age of Adz, mostly about his process of “sound collecting” and “sound sculpture” which eventually became the album. He also explained the role of Royal Robinson in the album’s creation, and how his art directed his creativity. Sufjan did a lot of talking, which is something I always enjoy. His set ended up somewhere around two hours, which is quite generous and made admission well worth the price. It was interesting to see those in audience who were less than enthused over Adz; the kid sitting next to me seemingly refused to clap for anything involving synthesizers. When it all came down to it, however, Sufjan and crew put on one heck of a show, and his genius was shown in every song. He even did quite a bit of dancing, all while wearing a visor with embedded neon flashing lights. His dancing reminded me a little of this (in a good way):

When the set was over and the applause died down, a feeling hung thick in the air; a feeling that each of us had just witnessed something truly special.

[update] Jen also did an excellent concert report on HER BLOG

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. MaKenna Hope permalink
    November 2, 2010 12:38 pm

    Awesome review for those of us who couldn’t have gone but wanted too! Thanks for giving us the feeling we were actually there.

    • November 2, 2010 12:55 pm

      thank you very much! if ever you get the chance to see him live don’t miss it! usually i would be a tab hesitant about spending forty bucks for a concert, but when that concert is sufjan it’s a no brainer.

  2. Alexi Weaver permalink
    November 2, 2010 1:02 pm

    Thanks, I loved seeing the setlist, it was very thorough! It made me want to go to the next concert

    • November 2, 2010 1:15 pm

      Thanks! It’s always fun to have a setlist because then you can recreate it in iTunes or something whether you were there or not!

  3. November 2, 2010 1:30 pm

    oh dear. this is fantastic. thanks for linking me back to it! “When the set was over and the applause died down, a feeling hung thick in the air; a feeling that each of us had just witnessed something truly special.” that gave me chills, literally. beautiful darling.

    • November 2, 2010 1:38 pm

      Thanks much! It truly was a special night!

  4. Beau Brown permalink
    November 2, 2010 3:53 pm

    the show was absolutely incredible!

  5. November 3, 2010 2:38 pm

    I loved the concert. He took some risks for sure (i.e. 10 minute story that almost went nowhere, 40 minute version of impossible soul) but it really paid off. I respect that he made the evening a unique experience and not just playing the songs exactly as they are on the cd. My friend did not dig it because he is a Illinoise fan. I never thought I’d be dancing at a Sufjan show. I’m posting my review of it soon on review-spew.com

    • November 3, 2010 5:05 pm

      Oh super cool. Please drop me a line when your review is up; I’ll also try to remember to check it out. I totally agree about some risks that he took, but I totally love Sufjan for that very reason. He is entirely sincere about everything and he does not act without having a good reason to do so. His ten minute ramble made me laugh and wonder how many people were getting restless, but then when he started playing the songs they were a lot more powerful. It was pretty neat.

  6. November 3, 2010 4:28 pm

    Great review! I’m glad you posted the set list. I, too, wrote a review on my blog, but I neglected to keep track of the set list… I’m glad that you have it! :)

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