sufjan and death cab

So, I went to the Sufjan concert last Thursday night (awesome bad phone picture to right), and even though we've barely made it through week five of the semester, it was the best night of it. :)

It's probably predictable with my personality that what I like best about concerts is the personal connection I feel to the artist. When I reflect on that, I always feel disappointment, because I know the connection I feel isn't mutual: that's how the stage works -> outward. But intimate identification via eyes, lyrics, unscheduled spontaneity... I tend to rate the experience not on the volume of the music, but of the exposed heart.

Ben Folds, for instance, was stunning - and even interactive and funny. But you got the feeling that he did this every night - the same jokes, the same routine.

That's probably not fair. I imagine most artists do that.

Oh yeah, Sufjan. ;)

It's just that: he pulled it off. Perhaps it's partially do to his voice: he has it controlled to be soft and clear - in purposeful contrast to his sophisticated time signatures, dictionary lyrics, and multi-part melodic motifs. Even surrounded by his precision production, I felt, sitting on the house-right ledge in the Canopy Club, that he was giving us a fascinating and personal look at himself.

Between songs, Sufjan and his band jumped up and down like cheerleaders in orange and blue, executing planned cheers, but giggling as they did. It's like the material still felt fresh to them - that they enjoyed it, even if the heat was getting to Sufjan later in the night as he wiped the sweat from his forehead between verses.

(Come Feel the) Illinoise is so fascinatingly crafted, it even gives long time musicians a chance to stop and absorb the scene. At times the eclectic layers make Radiohead look like a I-IV-V pop band. When the band launched into "The Tallest Man, the Broadest Shoulders" - Sufjan's cheery electric guitar player clapped her hands above her head: *clap*... *clap clap* ... *clap* ... *clap clap*. She got instant participation from a fully invested crowd, but the time was so complicated, that most people couldn't keep the clapping up when she returned to playing her guitar. It made me laugh at ourselves.

oh yeah, death cab. Ben me got tickets for Oct 13 at Foellinger. Nice.

Chris RidgewaymusicComment