Music, etc.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Sufjan at Town Hall: 9.29.06

After the Lips to start the week, Sufjan was the perfect bookend. With all three shows at Town Hall being sold out, I was extremely happy to get my hands on a ticket. To my utter shock, Sufjan came out of Town Hall about a hour before the show began. It was a really haunting experience. I could not think of anything to say and just stood there speechlessly. He seemed to be in a rush though considering he ran off down the block after leaving Town Hall. It was just me and a friend sitting there, which makes me regret not talking to him even more.

The show kicked off with My Brighest Diamond, lable mates of Sufjan. They had some really good songs that were only helped by Town Hall's amazing sound. Off all the venues I've been to, this was by far the best sounding place. It was also really small, seating only about 800, making the music more intimate too.

After about an hour of MBD, the place was packed and ready for Sufjan. With all the instruments already on stage, the only prep work that needed to be done was the hanging of the butterflies. When the crew took the stage and Sufjan introduced them, it was really a special moment. The band consisted of about 15 members. Lots of violin and horn players made each song sound as beautiful as they do on cd. All of the players, including Sufjan, were wearing elobrate wings, which I found really funny. Where else can you see an utterly serious band wearing butterfly wings?

He began with Sister which is really beautiful when it gets going. After the song, he introduced the next song, explaing how in Metropolis, Illinois Superman is a hero among men. In another little bit of humor, blow up superman dolls were thrown out into the audience while a completly ridiculous video played on the screen.

Going into the concert, I was reletivly unfamiliar with non-Illinois Sufjan. So, the next couple of songs I had not heard, but that did not stop me from loving every minute of them. While Sufjan played a familiar song, To Be Alone with You, an interesting new instrument was added to the show. The police siren from outside drowned out the music for a moment, but Sufjan didn't miss a key.

He continued switching off from piano and guitar as he played greats like John Wayne Gacy, Jr.; Predatory Wasp (really funny story went along with this), Dear Mr. Supercomputer, Jacksonville (which was overwhelming) and A Good Man is Hard to Find. After this he asked the audience to "stay patient as I play this new song." The new song, named Majesty Songbird, was definatly one of the highlights of the show. Clocking in at just under ten minutes, it was an epic explosion of piano, guitar, horns and violins.

Here is the video someone at the show took, it's definatly worth a watch:

After a rocking version of Chicago, Sufjan said good night and left the stage. The entire place stood up for five minutes giving him the applause he had earned. Just when it seemed as though Sufjan was not coming back out for an encore, the place erupted when he came out and the opening of 'They are Night Zombies!' came blasting through the speakers. I was feeling great at this time, but I was a little bummed out that Casimir Pulaski Day, my all time favorite song by any artist was excluded from the set. After 'Night Zombies' Sufjan explained that the next and final song was about 'A holiday comemorating the great Polish...' that was enough for me to wet my pants. He was ending was ending with it? No fucking way!

It was chilling to say the least. By the time the cardnial hit the window, tears were running down the sides of my face. I know, I know, that only happens when teenage girls come to see the Backstreet Boys, but the song is just so beautiful, I couldn't help myself.

Overall, the show was a perfect end to a damn good week.


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