Sufjan Stevens is freaking nuts! His Lo-Fi electronic/folk mix was an amazing show when he played two sold out nights at New York’s legendary Beacon Theater. I caught the show on opening night, November 14, 2010 and I loved it a lot! My camera was trying to focus during the first few moments of Sufjan telling one of his hilarious in-between-song anecdotes. Also, the security guards stopped me from taking video at the end of the song, but I got enough footage for you to see why you should go see Sufjan Stevens in concert every time he comes to your town! His show was ridiculously cool! I’ve said too much. Now watch “Too Much,” live by Sufjan (pronounced “soofy-yawn”) Stevens (pronounced as it looks).
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.
What could be better than seeing singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens in concert? The answer: meeting Sufjan Stevens and then going to see him in concert! Sufjan (which means “comes with a sword” in Persian) was extremely nice as you can see from the above picture. I am very excited to see him in concert as he is a multi-instrumentalist who takes on very interesting projects. He’s extremely talented and creative, so I am really looking forward to his show. Details on that will be coming soon, so stay tuned. Thanks again Sufjan! See you in a few hours!
I saw Massive Attack live for the first time earlier this year and I loved every second of it. After seeing them perform at the Beacon Theatre on October 21, 2010, I can honestly say that my opinion has not changed – they are so incredible live! The stage setup was nearly identical to when I saw them at Terminal 5, but the major differences are the Beacon has assigned seating whereas Terminal 5 is general admission. The night kicked off with an hour and a half tribal set from Thievery Corporation (more to come) and when Massive Attack took the stage around 11 pm, the crowd was ready to jam. Massive Attack’s light show got better by the song as more colors were introduced, more lights were used and the patterns the lights were making was enough to induce a hallucinogenic state! It also made me happy that Massive Attack’s Robert Del Naja turned up to the gig since I gave him directions yesterday and anyone that knows me can vouch for my terrible sense of direction.
The entire evening was a highlight, but for the people that like to hear the hits, “Angel,” “Tear Drop,” and “Interia Creeps” were all played. Surprisingly absent were “Karmacoma” and “Unfinished Sympathy,” but good news, they are playing the Beacon Theatre again on October 23, 2010, so if you missed the show tonight – cancel your plans and go see them!
Wow! What can be said about Ray LaMontagne’s solo acoustic sold-out opening night show, the first of 3 shows, at New York’s Beacon Theater? This singer/songwriter has a gravely/raspy voice that will make you weak in the knees. When he sang, silence filled the legendary theater so the crowd could soak up every single word. In between songs, the soft-spoken LaMontagne told stories of his idols such as Elvis Costello and Justin Townes Earle. Those stories gave the audience a chance to shout out their favorite songs and express their love and admiration for Ray LaMontagne. His embarassment at these cat calls was more than precious. A fun fact about Ray: he was working a 65-hour a week shift in a shoe factory when he heard a song on the radio by Stephen Stills (of Crosby Stills and Nash) and decided to quit his job and become a full-time singer. That’s a quality that I admire tremendously.
He hit the stage at 9 pm and sang for a solid two hours. He played songs such as “Jolene,” “Loretta,” “Let It Be Me,” “Shelter,” “Trouble,” “Sweet Baby,” a Lucinda Williams cover, “You Are the Best Thing,” and the Bee Gees/Janis Joplin classic “To Love Somebody.”
See some more pictures of Ray LaMontagne after the jump.