Monday, November 06, 2006

Sufjan Stevens Concert Review

Naturally, Sj was excellent yesterday evening at the Vooruit in Ghent (B).

The concert was way too short: it started at 9pm and less than two and a half hours later I was asleep in my bed! (Fact: a few weeks ago at the Ryan Adams gig in Brussels I had to leave early because my car was parked in a lot that was closing for the night at 11pm. It was raining cats and dogs by then and since I had seen almost 1h40 the set, I thought I wouldn't have missed much by driving home. A day later, I read in the newspaper the concert lasted 3 hours. Bummer. OTOH, I wasn't too much impressed with the endless guitar solos, but still, it was a stupid thing to do)

I only had a quick glance at the set list but I'm pretty sure the it was pretty much the same as the live show at Town Hall NYC 2006-09:

  • Intro
  • Sister
  • The Man of Metropolis Steals Our
  • He Woke Me Up Again
  • The Transfiguration
  • Detroit, Lift Up Your Weary Head!
  • To Be Alone With You
  • The Predatory Wasp Of The Palisades
  • John Wayne Gacy, Jr.
  • That Was The Worst Xmas Ever
  • Dear Mr. Supercomputer
  • Jacksonville
  • Abraham
  • A Good Man Is Hard To Find
  • Majesty Snowbird
  • Chicago
  • They Are Night Zombies!! They Are
  • Casimir Pulaski Day (encore)
(At least one other song was played - "For the widows..." - replacing maybe "Abraham" in the set list above)

And yes, there were inflatable santas and supermen (and of course, they disappeared in the crowd as soon as they were set loose), there were butterfly wings and masks with feathers (a 10-piece band, BTW). When Sj plays on his banjo without singing, he rocks his upper body sligthly back and forth so that his birdwings tend to flap. I wonder if he does that on purpose?

There was the funny story on his buddy Franko from summer camp ("People called him Franko because he looked like Frank Sinatra." - at age 8 or 9! Yikes!)

After the show Sufjan Cd's were on sale for 10 EUR (that's at least a 33% discount), so I bought the extended version of A Sun Came and the weirdo Enjoy your Rabbit. Unfortunately, Seven Swans was sold out by the time it was my turn. Oh well.

I also bought the mini EP by support act St. Vincent. Annie Clark (the only band-member) has quite a track record: she's a talented guitar player (according to her bio she played together with avant-garde composer Glenn Branca, very influential to Sonic Youth), is a member of The Polyphonic Spree and on stage with Sufjan Stevens she's his personal side-kick playing keyboards and guitar and doing most of the backing vocals. She's definitely someone to keep an eye on.

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