Sufjan Stevens & co brought ‘Planetarium’ back to Brooklyn (pics, video)
Sufjan Stevens, Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly, and James McAlister debuted their collaborative Planetarium project at Brooklyn Academy of Music in March of 2013 in a spectacle of projections and lasers. Earlier this year the group announced they'd returned to the material and adapted it into an album, which was released in June via 4AD. Last night (7/18) the Planetarium live show finally returned to Brooklyn for the first time since the initial run at BAM, with a big BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival show in Prospect Park. While the Celebrate Brooklyn show lacked the lasers that the BAM show had, each Planetarium song had its own set of projections. Bryce, Nico, and James were joined by a small horn and string section, with Sufjan, dressed in a style that recalled the neon-heavy Age of Adz shows, front and center. Sufjan paused between songs a few times to expand on the theme of the album, share his favorite Neil deGrasse Tyson quotes, and spout words of wisdom like a cosmic guru. The lights of the stage and the city prevented us from seeing any actual stars in the night sky, but an outdoor show in Prospect Park still felt like an inspired setting to hear songs about space.
Sufjan and co ended the night with a pair of covers as an encore: "Over the Rainbow" and David Bowie's "Space Oddity," the latter of which saw them bringing out Joan Wasser of opener Joan as Police Woman. Watch video clips of those covers below, and find pictures from last night's show in the gallery above.
photos by Amanda Hatfield