Posted in music | pictures on November 15, 2010

photos by David Andrako

Sufjan Stevens

With various videos and projections displayed on a backdrop behind the 11-piece band, a contingent of three back-up dancer-singers, and a slew of costume changes (mostly in the way of jackets and headgear, and yards of what appeared to be reflective tape), this show was not the Sufjan you might have expected -- Sufjan himself described the performance as "Avatar meets Cats on Ice." Sufjan stuck to the synthesizer and keyboard during most of the new songs, often joining the backup dancers. It's a shame, however, that Sufjan's development as a multi-media artist has scaled back the other elements that used to be staples of his performance. The best parts of "The Age of Adz," and the best parts of the night, were when Sufjan did what he does best: guitar, vocals, banjo. Sadly, though, even during "Chicago," Sufjan did not even touch his guitar. Perhaps as a concession to Sufjan purists and diehard fans, however, the night ended with "Casimir Pulaski Day," "To Be Alone With You" and "John Wayne Gacy, Jr." in succession, bringing the audience to their feet collectively amidst a shower of beach balls and balloons. -[Trust Me On This]
Sufjan Stevens played the first of his two NYC shows at Beacon Theater last night (11/14). The second, and final show on his North American tour for The Age of Adz, happens tonight, Monday, 11/15.

You can also catch Sufjan on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on Friday, 11/19, either on TV or in person if you are lucky enough to win a spot on the "Band Bench".

Soof's tourmate, labelmate and friend, DM Stith opened the sold out show. More pictures, the Sunday setlist, and a video below...

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Sufjan Stevens dancing @ Beacon Theatre, Nov. 14, 2010

SUFJAN STEVENS, 11/14/10 Beacon Theater Setlist(via):
Seven Swans
Too Much
Age of Adz
Heirloom
Futile Devices
Vesuvius
Now That I'm Older
Get Real Get Right
Impossible Soul
Chicago
==========
Concerning the UFO Sighting
Casimir Pulaski Day
To Be Alone With You (Sufjan solo)
John Wayne Gacy Jr. (Sufjan solo)

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Comments (72)

this is budget Jonsi, no?

Posted by Anonymous | November 15, 2010 10:52 AM

Frustrating/ Exhilerating

Posted by Anonymous | November 15, 2010 10:57 AM

"It's a shame, however, that Sufjan's development as a multi-media artist has scaled back the other elements that used to be staples of his performance. The best parts of "The Age of Adz," and the best parts of the night, were when Sufjan did what he does best: guitar, vocals, banjo."

Oh shut up. How is it a shame that the "staples of his performance" have changed? The best parts of the night were not the acoustic songs, they were just YOUR favorite parts of the night.

Let Sufjan grow and change! This new Sufjan is confident, more expressive and straight up great! He can't remain your damaged little banjo player forever.

Posted by Anonymous | November 15, 2010 11:00 AM

he def played Enchanting Ghost somewhere in there too. I think before Impossible Soul.

Posted by dave g. | November 15, 2010 11:02 AM

^^Sufjan^^

Posted by Anonymous | November 15, 2010 11:04 AM

10:52 Ha! Budget Jonsi, exactly what i thought!

Posted by anonymous | November 15, 2010 11:07 AM

pretty

Posted by Anonymous | November 15, 2010 11:08 AM

That was EASILY, without DOUBT, the GREATEST, most EXHILARATING concert I have EVER experienced, and has possibly EVER occurred on this or any other planet. And ANYONE who DARES say OTHERwise is a LIAR. This man is Morrissey, Bono, Einstein, Shakespeare, and Michael Chabon all rolled into one.

Posted by Anonymous | November 15, 2010 11:19 AM

i sorta thought the same re the jonsi ish.

but it's fun all the same.

Posted by Anonymous | November 15, 2010 11:20 AM

good crazy shit at the usually staid Beacon

Posted by Anonymous | November 15, 2010 11:21 AM

Jonsi was better and I am not a LIAR thank you very much

Posted by Anonymous | November 15, 2010 11:21 AM

^^Sufjan again. Or his mom. Either way, this person is EASILY and without A DOUBT, a white person who grew up in the midwest. Or washington state or Portland Oregon (maine?)

Posted by Anonymous | November 15, 2010 11:22 AM

Vesuvius was awesome

Posted by Anonymous | November 15, 2010 11:23 AM

11:22 - your parole office called. He wants his jokes back.

Posted by Anonymous | November 15, 2010 11:30 AM

I think the performance was nothing short of spectacular. I disagree with the comment about it being somehow inferior to his previous performances. This was in many ways better.

Posted by Anonymous | November 15, 2010 11:32 AM

I wanted to hear "I Want to Be Well"... Great show, nonetheless!

Posted by Anonymous | November 15, 2010 11:32 AM

Anyone know that set times from last night?

Posted by Anonymous | November 15, 2010 11:46 AM

Yeah it's a shame Sufjan's actually growing and exploring and being generally awesome.
He should be writing an album on Wisconsin or some other tired shit and write a million more versions of Casamir Pulaski Day.

Posted by Anonymous | November 15, 2010 11:48 AM

oh ya and he definitely played Enchanting Ghost somewhere

Posted by Anonymous | November 15, 2010 11:48 AM

845 sufjan on. dunno about dm

Posted by Anonymous | November 15, 2010 11:52 AM

I think it's cool that there's someone like Sufjan out there who wants to do crazy stuff. He's never really given a traditional "concert" experience--his performances tended to be on the slower, quieter side rather than the "kick the audience's ass" side.

I enjoy both of the Anonymous comments above, especially the interplay between the first guy who seems to be serious when he says that everything Sufjan does deserves utter praise and the second one who makes fun of him. But a tip to the first Anonymous--the line of reasoning that starts and ends with "that's just like, your opinion, man" isn't very persuasive.

Posted by Connery | November 15, 2010 11:54 AM

Thx 11:52 AM

Posted by Anonymous | November 15, 2010 11:54 AM

Set times were:

8:00 Sith
8:45 (sharp) Sufjan

Gotta give credit to Sufjan for making a new album that is completely different from his prior work and still excellent. Last night's show was amazing.

Posted by Dan | November 15, 2010 11:55 AM

Budget Jonsi? LOL. Jonsi does not even belong in the same sentence. Gotta love how the first comment on this review is by some ignorant hater. Have to wonder what these people do with their lives that they are able to spread the hate at such an impressive pace.

The author of this review must not appreciate the evolution of an artist either. The man has proven that he can play any instrument and cross into any genre and still create a magical performance.

Last night's show was the best musical performance I've ever experienced. If Jonsi or any other artist could come within a percentage of the measure of greatness Sufjan showed last night, I would pay an infinite amount for that ticket. Cannot wait til tonight's show.

Posted by Gary | November 15, 2010 12:16 PM

"That was EASILY, without DOUBT, the GREATEST, most EXHILARATING concert I have EVER experienced, and has possibly EVER occurred on this or any other planet. And ANYONE who DARES say OTHERwise is a LIAR. This man is Morrissey, Bono, Einstein, Shakespeare, and Michael Chabon all rolled into one."

"Chabon" - hahaha

Posted by Anonymous | November 15, 2010 12:17 PM

He played "I Walked" and "Enchanting Ghost" as well.

Posted by Anonymous | November 15, 2010 12:23 PM

The dancing... it caught me by surprise.

But the show was AMAZING!

Posted by Anonymous | November 15, 2010 12:24 PM

"Gotta love how the first comment on this review is by some ignorant hater."


It is not hate if it is true. The guy is exactly right that it is budget Jonsi. Look, Gary and you other slavish morons, Sufjan is fine but going overboard on this makes you look completely stupid. Not to mention wrong.
Truth is Sufjan's new record is just not that good.

Oh and also to you massive hyperbole laced idiots I say suck a fat dick.

Posted by Anonymous | November 15, 2010 12:29 PM

"Last night's show was the best musical performance I've ever experienced. If Jonsi or any other artist could come within a percentage of the measure of greatness Sufjan showed last night, I would pay an infinite amount for that ticket"


What a pathetic statement but I have to believe this guy is kidding around. If serious than you are just begging to be punched in the face multiple times by various people.

Posted by Anonymous | November 15, 2010 12:33 PM

The show was good, but I was totally disturbed that the dancing pictures of Sufjan projected on the screen for a few songs totally made him look the The Situation. Who woulda thought?

Posted by Anonymous | November 15, 2010 12:34 PM

well he does have that frat boy look to him. circa ae outfitters sophomore yr. college, year = timeless

and ps - the jonsi comment was validated more than once.

Posted by Anonymous | November 15, 2010 12:38 PM

but for real - i love this guy...seen him a ton in all different styles of venues - never disappoints with his brilliance as a composer, musician, and entertainer.

it's just fun to be around...and see the progressions

Posted by Anonymous | November 15, 2010 12:48 PM

The Jonsi comparisons are correct, but this was an epic show.

Posted by Anonymous | November 15, 2010 12:50 PM

what time was show over...

Posted by Anonymous | November 15, 2010 12:59 PM

"but this was an epic show."

You must be an epic dumbass

Posted by Anonymous | November 15, 2010 1:01 PM

Great show!! Highlights for me: Futile Devices, Now That I'm Older & Enchanting Ghost

Posted by Anonymous | November 15, 2010 1:07 PM

hoping for ALL DELIGHTED PEOPLE tonight

Posted by Anonymous | November 15, 2010 1:20 PM

This show was very good but it made me wish I caught the Bowery Ballroom show last year.

Any of you cool cats spot David Byrne also?

Posted by Anonymous | November 15, 2010 1:45 PM

David Byrne is probably the rock star yer most likely to see out in nyc. No big deal. He's a regular around town.

Posted by Anonymous | November 15, 2010 1:50 PM

hey, dad - please get off my internet. do you not cringe when you type "dumbass"? this is one of the lamest put-downs.

Posted by Anonymous | November 15, 2010 1:52 PM

Some angry critics on this thread. Sufjan puts on some show. Looking forward to the "1969 of the future" where love and peace will reign supreme again :)

Posted by Anonymous | November 15, 2010 1:52 PM

jonsi=boring
sufjan=not boring
au

Posted by Anonymous | November 15, 2010 1:57 PM

"hey, dad - please get off my internet. do you not cringe when you type "dumbass"? this is one of the lamest put-downs."


Followed of course by one of the lamest comebacks


Posted by Anonymous | November 15, 2010 2:01 PM

yawnsi

Posted by Anonymous | November 15, 2010 2:31 PM

Great show. Really fun. I always admire Sufjan's willingness to change and to never put on the same tour twice.

Posted by Anonymous | November 15, 2010 2:33 PM

Anyone who thinks Jonsi is boring has most likely not heard one note of his music..

Posted by Anonymous | November 15, 2010 2:37 PM

I saw Jonsi AND Sufjan and I have to say, Sufjan is just a better musician. Maybe not the best dancer, but the music made for a better show. ALSO: BALLOON DROP!

Posted by Anonymous | November 15, 2010 2:53 PM

I saw them both two..Jonsi was more entertaining...I haven't seen Sufjan though on this tour.

Posted by Anonymous | November 15, 2010 2:57 PM

both too I mean!

Posted by Anonymous | November 15, 2010 2:57 PM

well - since sufjan's setup this tour is way different - maybe ya shouldnt weigh in on the discussion then

Posted by Anonymous | November 15, 2010 2:59 PM

OK, well since i have seen both Jonsi's latest and the show last night i will comment. Jonsi's was 1000 times better. The performace, the art and the music was better. Sufjan's new music is so so. Sorry, truth hurts.

Oh but there was a balloon drop last night. OMG!

Losers, must be same people who get excited at Girl Talk shows. WOW BALLOON, STREAMERS, CONFETTI CANNONS.

Posted by Anonymous | November 15, 2010 3:04 PM

Jonsi was boring except for 3 songs. Visuals were great, though.

Posted by Anonymous | November 15, 2010 3:07 PM

Jonsi, yawn. What's that you're singing? Oh that's right, I can't understand it.

Posted by Anonymous | November 15, 2010 3:09 PM

i kinda loved the way he said "fire" during his little intro to Vesuvius...got a lil midwest accent there, suf.

Posted by Anonymous | November 15, 2010 3:19 PM

Marry me, Cat Martino.

Posted by Anonymous | November 15, 2010 3:20 PM

lmao @ yawnsi

Posted by Anonymous | November 15, 2010 3:32 PM

nyc gets what it deserves. in this case, two masturbatory pageants in one week

Posted by Anonymous | November 15, 2010 3:33 PM

age of adz >>> jonsi

Posted by Anonymous | November 15, 2010 3:37 PM

How was that review the one chosen for the headline of this link? I don't know how you could have walked away from that show and thought the acoustic moments were the best? Unbelievable how much time, effort, and creativity went into that stage show. That was a stage show worthy of the biggest name (biggest budget) acts out there. Blew me away.

Posted by Anonymous | November 15, 2010 3:42 PM

show over at 11

Posted by Anonymous | November 15, 2010 3:58 PM

That's the entire set? What, was it 45 minutes?

Still can't forgive him for the Christian rock seven swans.

Posted by Anonymous | November 15, 2010 4:06 PM

If I want balloons and confetti, I'll go to a Flaming Lips show.

Posted by Anonymous | November 15, 2010 4:12 PM

The show was a little over 2 hours. Started at 8:45 ended around 11.

Posted by Anonymous | November 15, 2010 4:25 PM

3:42, well said. Spectacular show by Sufjan and co.

Posted by Anonymous | November 15, 2010 4:27 PM

This was an incredibly inconsistent show. The new album is brilliant, but the use of a huge, Illinoise-esque band made some of the new stuff sound awkward and stilted. I'm glad I went, and half of the new arrangements were perfect, but much of the new stuff would have sounded way better with a small band, and one guy making laptop electronics. As always, the people endlessly ridiculing the artist, as well as the people that are willing to drink his bathwater, should all be taken out and shot.

Posted by Anonymous | November 15, 2010 7:04 PM

I just thought it was weird to follow a balloon party with a song about child rape and murder. Ppl were bouncing latex around while he's up there singing about JWG Jr. That's my only complaint. Otherwise brilliant and glad he's moving forward.

Posted by Anonymous | November 15, 2010 7:33 PM

7:04- stopped reading at "new album is brilliant"

Posted by Anonymous | November 15, 2010 7:55 PM

this was the scariest thing i have ever seen. sufjan is obviously turning into that whacko "royal" he was talkign about and it was quite disturbing. the poor guy finally lost his marbles:(

Posted by Anonymous | November 16, 2010 11:57 AM

Nice! I went to the Portland Oregon show (photos on my page), and it was wicked good. I wish he'd tour more often. One of the best shows I've been to in a while.

~Dan

Posted by POSTY McPOSTERTON | November 16, 2010 1:53 PM

he seems happy, finally.

Posted by Anonymous | November 16, 2010 2:08 PM

Show is simply amazing. He has extreme talents as a musician and an artist. He is 100% part of every second of that show..
Really impressive.

Who is Jonsi?

Posted by FONZSKE | November 16, 2010 2:11 PM

That show got me more excited about what Sufjan can do moving forward. It still feels like there's some wandering in the pacing, but it was full of great moments, and it seems like he's bound to really figure it out. I'm glad I got to see it.

Posted by Josh | November 16, 2010 5:14 PM

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