don't you tell me how i feel.

Hipsters: sometimes they’re awesome! by Steele

Sufjan Stevens has been ignored by me until last night, at which point I attended his fantastic show – the kind of epic, theatrical hoedown that I woke up still thinking about.

Stevens, a big part of the folk revival in indie rock that began some 10 years back, has been doing his thing for a while. But back when he rose to prominence, that Conor Oberst kid was already occupying that part of my brain. Now that Oberst has moved out, I’m all, “Sufjan, where you been all this time?” And Sufjan is all, “what up, girl! welcome to my universe! You’re gonna like it here!”

He’s right. Here is some of what I liked about last night’s show:

*Sufjan. What an adorable little guy. He probably meets a ton of girls who want to “save” him and “take care of him” and shit. He would have completely done me in at age 23.

*The visual components like lasers, projections, film clips and the use of glow-in-the-dark makeup and space-age accessories.

*The badass backup dancers/singers, who Sufjan coordinated some moves with. This reminded me of a terrific Santigold show I saw in 2008, which was in and of itself reminiscent of Devo and other such acts. 

*The music. There was quiet, pretty stuff, there were long jam-band numbers, there were like 15 people on stage and everybody just killed it for 2 hours. It was soaring and warm and, honestly, inspiring. And this might be thanks to the exquisite venue I was in, but Sufjan sounds as though he’s singing through some kind of filter used to smooth out vocals on an album. There’s a softness and precision to his voice that you don’t often hear live.

*Speaking of voice filters, he used an autotune device a few times, which was hilarious.

Isn’t this the great thing about music? It’s always there for you, just waiting to be loved, whether you’re ready for it or whether it has to circle back later and try again. Thanks, Sufjan, for your patience.

And thank you, Rachael, for the invite. I had an excellent time.


5 Comments so far
Leave a comment

aww sufy suf

Comment by v

Thanks as always for your incisive commentary.

Comment by Steele

it had to be said.

Comment by v

Great to meet you last night! Love, love Sufjan!

Comment by Sam

wow alli.. great summary of an awesome evening. and i agree completely, it was an AMAZING show… of course, i had great company 🙂

Comment by rachael

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