Photos by G.
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.