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Written By: Simply ONE of the Masses on October 8, 2009 144 Comments


(This one is for Kylie and Graham!)

How to begin to recap the night Sufjan Stevens graced our local stage? I can’t find the words.  GRATEFUL. Thank God for asthma and cats, the combination of the two, and the scores of talent it breeds.  I’m thankful for Sufjan’s Pony engine project of producing two ‘Davids’ of fifty ‘Goliath’ state albums.  BAFFLED. Why was a bald old Asian dude positioned at the pit, in front of the crowd, pasted against the stage, and staring up at Sufjan with a dumbstruck look on his face for the full set?  How did all the fledglings of sixteen snag tickets to this show, when avid followers of almost a decade heard nothing of it until it was too late, and too chock-a-block sold out?  Why the heck would they charge only $17.50 for an exclusive concert with the poet stand-alone genius? STAGGERED. It’s exactly how you would imagine it to be.  Backstage holds that darkly painted dimly-lit room, with languid musician bodies, some stolid, sitting around, one on the guitar humming, and another quietly involved in his thoughts.  And Sufjan Stevens, the indie godhead, sits on a couch just like the others, and breathes just like the others.  (Yes, I was in that room.)  MESMERIZED. From his banjo to brass, Stevens’ loquacious compositions are underground marvels, shifting from folk to experimental electronica, bringing sterile suburbia into an unfeigned genuinely painted world. GLUTTONOUS. In almost a decade, A Sun Came, the winds of Michigan and Illinoise blew, the spirituality of Seven Swans and Songs for Christmas set, the furry fury of Enjoy Your Rabbit and now Run Rabbit Run pounced, and Sufjan, on another tangent released The BQE, a tribute and his proper cinematic debut.  And even if Stevens tested new songs on All Delighted People that night, and even if we lost ourselves and our minds to Holland and awakened life to The Dress Looks Nice on You, my hungry appetite craved for more. I was greedy for him to finish off the other forty-eight state albums he had committed himself to.  STATIC. Everything halted when someone in the crowd fainted.  I was frozen by a worry for the person who, yes, had lost consciousness, but if I’m honest with myself, I was motionless partially in fear that the night would be prematurely cut short. INDEBTED. Full circle to being content; knowing that the collapsed middle-aged woman was going to be okay and that the show would go on, I was completely slaked when Sufjan crooned the twisted tale of John Wayne Gacy Jr. At this late hour, I may not be able to choose the appropriate encomiastic words for a man set apart, and truly deserving of garish praise, but grateful, baffled, staggered, mesmerized, gluttonous, static, and indebted I will always be when I think back on that night… a twister of emotions wrapped in one – kind of like being up the duff.

Fast-forward for a VIDEO snippet of Sufjan Stevens, check out my post: SUFJAN STEVENS /// LIVE [VIDEO]

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