Concert Report – Sufjan Stevens @ Kingsbury Hall in Salt Lake City, Nov 1 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:
Age of Adz
Now That I’m Older
Get Real Get Right
The Owl and the Tanager
Concerning the UFO Sighting Near Highland, Illinois
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