Sufjan Stevens

Joy! Joy! Joy! (.mp3, Mediafire)

When my boyfriend told me that Sufjan Stevens had announced a show at one of our favorite venues, I had mixed feelings about whether or not I wanted to go. I was concerned that the venue would be oversold, resulting in wall-to-wall hipsters with digital cameras (not too far from what the show ended up being like) and I was also worried that I just didn't like Sufjan that much anymore. (My peak Sufjan listening years were probably 2003-2005, with a brief resurgence in the summer of 2007 when one of my housemates and I would spend hours lying on the dirty, carpeted floor or our miserable sublet listening to "The Dress Looks Nice On You" on repeat.) But, tickets were only $15 and the show fell pretty close to my birthday so I thought, why not? And, you know what? It was a pretty nice night.

The show was an almost even mix of new and old songs -- the newer songs were, I think, a shock to many of the fans there. I mean, the opener was 11+ minutes & a lot of it was a severe, guitar-driven noise collision. So, you know, people who were there for the soft banjo tunes ended up being a bit thrown. While my boyfriend and I were walking back to the parking lot after the show he said (he's not much of a Sufjan fan at all), "I didn't know Sufjan was such an interesting guitarist," so, I guess you can take that for whatever it's worth.

Personally, the new songs left me feeling sort of cold (probably because of their length & structure, honestly, I'm a 2-3 minute, verse-chorus-verse sort of music fan about 90% of the time, so it's not at all surprising that I wouldn't respond to something sonically and structurally unconventional). I did like the last new song that he played quite a bit. It was called "Too Much Love" and it reminded me quite a bit of "Joy! Joy! Joy!" (easily my favorite song off of A Sun Came! & the song I've chosen to post here & now). You can hear "Too Much Love" (& see a live video of it) over at I Guess I'm Floating. "Too Much Love" was played as the first encore and we left before the second, if there was a second.

& I guess that leaving is the second (and smaller) part of this story. I found out that a friend of mine passed away this past Wednesday and while we were not especially close, I found myself reeling with small memories and to hear songs like "Casimir Pulaski Day" and "All the Trees of the Field Will Clap Their Hands" was, honestly, a little much for me. But, "Joy! Joy! Joy!" is an oldie & a goodie & is celebratory in spirit. I think it meshes perfectly with the new song & yes, yes, I'm glad that I went.

Joy! Joy! Joy! (.mp3, Mediafire)


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