Jan 28, 2011

Sufjan Stevens @ Sydney Opera House

As the balloons tumbled from the ceiling, we smiled with open hearts. We pondered, during the joyful refrain of "Chicago", the spectacle we had witnessed during the preceding two hours. We wondered if the outside world would be the same. If the outside world knew what was going on inside the Sydney Opera House. Did they know we weren't with them at this moment. We were on Planet Sufjan. We were on a cosmic journey through the stars, the planets, the entire galaxy. We felt the touch of Sufjan. It made our blood flow quicker, our hearts sing and all was well. Psychedelic mindtrip. Sufjan Stevens is not one of us.

Seven Swans, seven swans, seven swans. A reminder of older times. A thunderous beginning. Spectacular. Then Sufjan welcomed us and informed us that the night would be new tunes. New experiences. But would we like a night of 'Adz'? Would we pine to be 'Illinoised'? In a word. No. This night was a spectacular and sublime triumph. The man from Michigan and his ten piece band entranced us all. Liberated and freed us from our earthly concerns. There were guitars and horns and keyboards and all sorts of wondrous musical vessels. And dancers. Two girls that sung and danced at a relentless pace. There was incendiary lighting. There were stunning audio visuals, keeping each song company in a spectacular fashion. Sufjan entertained us too with his thoughts. His spiritual but also earthen thoughts. His expressions of love and place spoke directly to us. You see, he is not just supremely talented, but also hugely charismatic. He danced as well. Oh, he danced. To the glitch-pop of "Get Real Get Right" or the overflowing "Vesuvius". If I had to choose a standout though I think it would be "Age of Adz". This song was four thousand types of awesome. Amongst the ecstatic and dance laden he still found time for 'folk songs' as Sufjan called them. Amongst these "Heirloom" and "Futile Devices" were particularly enthralling and moving. If somehow the night couldn't get anymore surreal and spectacular we were given thirty minutes of "Impossible Soul" to close. To call it epic would be an understatement. It would be like saying the sun is kinda hot. It was a a journey through the musical universe, complete with more dancing and even autotune. It was hypnotic and completely original. Sufjan sang "Boy, we can do much more together. It's not so impossible.". In the hands of this remarkable man I am inclined to believe him.

Set List
Seven Swans
Too Much
Age of Adz
I Walked
All For Myself
Futile Devices
Now That I'm Older
Get Real Get Right
Enchanting Ghost
Impossible Soul



  • At January 31, 2011 , Anonymous Roshan said...

    Amazing review as always Wayne.

    Such an awesome night! Chicago and the balloons made me so happy, as did getting up and dancing away to Impossible Soul.
    Planet Sufjan - I wanna live there!

  • At February 01, 2011 , Anonymous Jenn said...

    I loved that people were just getting up and dancing in Impossible Soul, even before the balloons came down. Never seen the Concert Hall like that before! (and I have to admit, I cried... so perfect. I was a delighted person and I raised my hands)


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