Sufjan Stevens played Music Hall of Williamsburg (10/7, night 4 of NYC run)
I got married last weekend and when deciding on music to be played throughout the ceremony, we settled on a couple of Sufjan Stevens’ songs. We returned to NYC in time to catch Sufjan play the final night of his run in the city (10/7) and my new bride joked that we were taking a honeymoon to Brooklyn. As expected, Sufjan delivered.
Kicking things off on banjo with ‘The Mistress Witch from McClure’ (video above) Sufjan was joined only by a horn section and the crowd’s absolute silence. He wasted no time in showing off his new sonic direction when he moved directly into ‘Impossible Soul’ with the full band. This new tune sounded like progressive-soft-rock with electric guitar solos by Sufjan, a vocal solo by Shara Worden, trumpet and slide trombone, thick synthesizer effects and incredibly tight drumming throughout. This is a refreshing new direction that was interspersed all night on several songs including ‘All Delighted People’ which built up to a rocking finale to which the crowd responded with mass approval. The personal highlight was ‘Majesty Snowbird’, the song we used as the bride’s processional in our wedding. Before starting with an electric solo, Sufjan said that this was the theme song for the end of the universe (ha!), “When lions sleep with lambs…uh, I mean when lions and lambs nap together.” The song ranged from a big orchestral sound, to quiet falsettos, to a funk-drum breakdown, to 3-part harmonies and then into a big finale. The version we played at our wedding was a bootleg from a show I saw with my (now) bride and my parents when Sufjan played Town Hall back in 2006. That version is below. Enjoy. Full set list after the jump.
Set list (via):
*The Mistress Witch from McClure (Or, The Mind That Knows Itself)
*Impossible Soul (new song)
*Concerning The UFO Sighting Near Highland, Illinois (solo piano)
*All Delighted People (new song)
*Casimir Pulaski Day
*Too Much Love
*Owl & Tanager (Barn Owl, Silent Killer)
*Detroit, Lift Your Weary Head! (Rebuild!)
*John Wayne Gacy Jr.
*Age of Adz
*Come On! Feel the Illinoise!
*The Dress Looks Nice on You