I’m living on a high!
Sufjan Stevens, The Age of Adz.
He performed his new show for me and the rest of Vega (Copenhagen) May 1st. Dare I say… yes, it was the best concert I’ve ever been to. He even outdid Sigur Rós in total performance. And people who know me, or have read a few posts on this blog, will know that’s not something I would put in writing and release on the internet if I didn’t mean it.
(if he’s about to start a show in a city near you; shut down your computer and get there. asap.)
I don’t even know where to start off when talking about this major event. I knew the chances of this being the best thing ever were there because of the sheer beauty of the album. It’s genius. The best album ever made, imo. But it just exceeded my expectations by miles. Right from the start, his live rock-version of Seven Swans rocked my socks off. I caught myself making earthquake-like drum-noises on my own while listening to Seven Swans off the album. They just added this amazing new dynamic element to the song. He could have ended the concert right there after the first song, and it would still have been a better concert than what most bands achieve through their entire career. But he didn’t. Instead, he followed it up with Too Much where he – and his amazing band, man they’re tight! – excelled beyond what should be possible! I had a bit of a concern that the songs off The Age of Adz might lack something live because of the complexity and the rich details he was able to put into the songs in the studio. Turned out, I really had no reasons for my concerns. Awesomeness will win in the end.
After this intense start came the first of many little breaks, where he told a bit of why and how this album came to be as it is. Not only is he – perhaps – the most talented all-round musician these days, but he is also one of the most humorous people to ever be on a stage. He excused the self-centered, heartbroken lyrics of the album by saying “Sorry about the melodrama. I have a nasty habit of confusing heartache with the apocalypse.” and went on with nice little anecdotes throughout the evening between the songs. Laid back and ironic at all times.
And then on went the show. Through one epic song after the other – as all who have heard The Age of Adz will know. Most notably.. I don’t know. All songs just fit in so perfectly. Well, Vesuvius and Impossible Soul are, of course, some of the extreme highs. Loved his robot/space shuttle outfit during part 3 of Impossible Soul, just before it all turned in to a grand sing-along party in the MGMT-like part 4 – and then bringing it all the way back down again to the beautiful finale of the 25 minute (more like 30 minutes live) track.
No wonder we all stood there clapping our hands louder and louder during the 10 minutes or so it took him to change clothes, before he then came back out to play some encores. A nice 3-song collection from Illinois, you know – just for gags, to end the night in a calm way.
What I’m trying to say is that Sufjan Stevens is the greatest musician alive. And will be in the future as well – both the near and distant. What he does is so over the top, but in a fashion that invites all. Attending one of his concerts has long been on the top of my to-do list, and I am truly grateful this was the concert I got to witness.
As I have often talked about; I don’t know what I want to achieve in my lifetime. I think I know one thing for sure now, though – I have to dedicate more of my time to Sufjan Stevens’ concerts. If that means I’ll have to travel a lot, then so be it.
This is a fix. And I need more.