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Sufjan Stevens – The Forum – 16-01-08

January 21, 2008
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Wow. I’d never actually been to The Forum before and what a spectacular venue it is. The blue roof and set up of the stage makes you feel as if you are outside in a garden under a perfect night sky. I was going to take a seat but decided they were too far back from the stage so I ended up taking a spot near the front right. I could pretty much see everything and also appreciate the awesomeness of the venue.

Sufjan came out to help set up his own stuff with the band which I thought was pretty cool and eventually him and the other 9 members of his band made their way to the stage after the rather cute Piklet had finished and that was when the magic began. He opened with ‘Sister’ from ‘Seven Swans’ and it was the perfect opener and when he finally opened his mouth and began singing I got goose bumps; I forgot about the annoying fat guy standing next to me and the $7.50 I had just spent on the beer, I forgot about everything. It was enchanting. The sound from the band was perfect and instrumentation was brilliant. His set was mostly made up of songs from Illinois but he played a fair few songs from Michigan and also Seven Swans plus two new ones.

When it came time to play Jacksonville, Sufjan and band made a sly remark about dedicating the song to Corey Worthington (500 people party douchbag) as him and the band all slipped on some ‘famous’ sunglasses and launched into an upbeat and extremely fun version of the song with added cheerleading visuals in the background. In fact the visuals were pretty cool for most of the show. When he played John Wayne Gacy Jr., the entire venue was silent. It was amazingly emotional for a song about a serial killer and probably the highlight of the night and made all the more better by it just being Sufjan and one other band member on stage, it was nice to see the band stripped back a bit. He closed his set with a new song about a bird and it was phenomenal. By this time I was starting to get a bit tired but then the song got going and it really blew me away. The finish was amazing and by the time it was over I could barely think.

After a round of applause the encore began with another new song, this one about the Brooklyn Express Way which Sufjan introduced with another funny little story. It was a pretty interesting song and made more interesting with some fun hoola hooping. He finished the encore with a stunning version of fan favourite Chicago which also had some nice visuals going on and was surprisingly emotional. This was probably one of the best gigs I have ever been too, the venue was incredible as was the music and also Chris Liley walked past me as I was going in.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. James permalink
    January 24, 2008 3:59 am

    Wow, that actually sounds surprisingly different to him playing at the State Theatre. Equally awesome, though!

  2. Anonymous permalink
    January 31, 2008 3:43 am

    Forum is awesomely pretty because it has stars. Saw Nick Cave there, and wanted to see the Klaxons but it was on a weird night.

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