Sufjan Stevens Live at the Beacon Theater

Posted by The G on November 15, 2010 under G Reviews | 4 Comments to Read

Photos by G.

Sufjan Stevens

In some ways, I am disappointed that I met singer Sufjan Stevens before seeing him in concert.  I merely thanked him for being cool and told him I would be seeing him in concert later that night.  If I would have met him after knowing what one of his shows are like, I would have definitely told him that for someone that has seen over 200 bands this year, his show rates with the best concerts of the year!  When Sufjan Stevens took the stage at the Beacon Theater in New York (at 8:45 pm) for his first of 2 sold out shows, he hit the ground running by performing behind a see through backdrop that had trippy visuals projected onto it.  Each song had really cool visuals and before the end of the show, we heard great songs, Sufjan told hysterical anecdotes, there was choreography, neon lights, beach balls and confetti came down from the ceiling.  Not what you’d really expect from your typical singer-songwriter type show!

Opening act (and Sufjan’s piano player) DM Stith opened the show at 8 pm with a brief 4 song set and told the audience how Sufjan describes the parts of songs that have sounds but not proper lyrics as “the sex scene” of a song.  Of course, you’ll never be able to think of music again without that image in your head, and extra thanks to Sufjan for putting it there!  When Sufjan Stevens sang, you could hear a pin drop in the 3,000 seat venue.  He had a trio of strategically placed beach balls taped across the stage that spelled out “S-U-F.”  Stevens said they could not afford to spell out his full name.  Later on, he removed helped the crew remove the beach balls which took a few moments and then he told the crowd “that one was called removing the tape and beach balls.”

He explained the meanings and inspirations behind some of the songs he played as well as telling us the range of topics he’d cover lyrically throughout the evening.  The list included (but was not limited to): birth, death, being young, being old, love, and hippie love.  Sufjan Stevens did his job as a rock star by turning me into a fan.  Thanks again Sufjan!  More pictures as well as the setlist after the jump.

The setlist (to the best of my recollection – please correct me Sufjan die-hards if I messed up) was:

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.


Concerning the UFO Sighting Near Highland, Illinois / Casimir Pulaski Day / To Be Alone With You / John Wayne Gacy

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  • Ricky said,

    This concert blew my mind…what a wonderful night! It was like witnessing the birth of a whole new breed of music. P.S. Didn’t he play John Wayne Gacy, Jr. in the encore as well?

  • Will said,

    I was there too! Also, he ended the set with “John Wayne Gacy, Jr.”

  • The G said,

    Thanks Ricky and Will!

  • "Too Much" live by Sufjan Stevens | According to G said,

    […] he played two sold out nights at New York’s legendary Beacon Theater. I caught the show on opening night, November 14, 2010and I loved it a lot! My camera was trying to focus during the first few moments of Sufjan […]