The Transfiguration

everything is sacred

Venue of the Day #2448

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Venue of the Day #2448

Laurel and I went to see Sufjan Stevens perform tonight. There are many musicians I like, and several whose music resonates with me personally; Sufjan Stevens is one of the few artists whose music feels like it has lead to me becoming the person I am – formative music.

We walked into the theater, which Laurel had never been to before, and through her wonder at it I was able to enjoy the ornate decorations that shaped the ceiling and stage. We took our seats and just sat there for a few minutes, staring up at the beautiful room.

The opening act had a peculiar sense of spectacle, with lights that brightened in response to the music and ghosts draped in glittering disco sheets, slowly twirling for the entire set. When the main act began, the curtains rose and the musicians were all in silhouette, lit from behind like superheroes.

Stevens’s most recent album is an intensely honest and personal one, dealing largely with his mother’s death and reflecting on growing up with and without her. The way this is expressed varies so much, especially in this live performance – gentle acoustic songs, loud amplified stretches with flashing lights and such heavy bass that it felt the musicians were attempting to rip apart the universe.

When we find music through publishing channels – mostly the Internet now – it’s hard to conceptualize the artist as a real person rather than an abstracted ideal. A few times during the show, Sufjan slipped up – missed a chord on the piano, caught his voice on a stubborn note – and the audience took it in good humor, as if the thousand of us watching were all good friends of his, just sitting in a room together for the evening.

All of his songs are swimming together in my head now. I can’t listen to any one of them for a while; if I do, it will throw off the harmony they’re all sharing together.

I just wanted to be near you
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Written by Umbrella Man

June 6, 2015 at 1:22 am

Posted in friends, people

Tagged with ,

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