Thoughts After Seeing Sufjan Stevens at the Beacon Last Night
merci @tothemaxxx for taking me to the third show of the tour... guys: run, don't walk.
- •In my top five "live" experiences as an audience member. Period. Ever.
- •The thought that kept running through my head, when applause allowed for thought: this must be what Frank O'Hara meant when describing seeing Billie Holiday perform, that "everyone and I stopped breathing."Held my breath and did not blink for most of this concert, in my physical urgency not to interrupt what was happening onstage. Sufjan actually had to tell the audience to breathe at one point. Really.
- •He's essentially playing the entire album front to back ("Carrie and Lowell," if you haven't bought it, stop reading this list, purchase & listen). It's like a piece of theater.Ergo, no one should be allowed to leave to buy a beer. Or whoop out "SOOF-JAN!!"
- •His vulnerability was so overwhelming that it made him look like an astronaut, operating under an entirely different gravity than ours.Every strum of the guitar and crack of his voice seemed to take that much extra effort. Other applicable metaphors: like watching someone invent language for the very first time in order to be able to speak.
- •It is rare that a person who has experienced that depth of pain is able to draw from it so generously. It is especially remarkable to watch an artist synthesize those opposing forces in front of a crowd of people.Pretty sure the only other time I've felt that live nerve was from looking at a Van Gogh, and he painted those all alone in his room or in a field somewhere.
- •Anyway. You know how sometimes they put extra guitars onstage, in case the band breaks theirs? Well, I hope someone packed an extra heart for Sufjan, because I don't know how else he will get through this tour.