Sufjan Stevens at the 930 Club

Originally uploaded by squidpants.
So first off, $6 for a smallish cup of Yuengling is ridiculous. The 9:30 Club must be going bankrupt or something. But I went to see Sufjan Stevens (and his band, the Illinoisemakers) there the other day there and it was enjoyable. I was hoping they'd be in some kind of costume, and they didn't disappoint, with Sufjan in a kooky American flag jumpsuit and the rest of the band in University of Illinois cheerleader costumes. They started with a song about the 50 states, part of which is here, and which continues with lots of rhymes about states and things. People would cheer when he said their state, which was sort of cheesy, but oh well. The band sounded really good though, very clear and together, and interspersed the songs with funny cheers (since they were dressed as cheerleaders) about the various songs they were going to play. The cheers sort of lost energy towards the end, but I bet they've done the same cheerleader chants 100 times. And unfortunately, the super hot xylophone player wasn't there. Sufjan (pronounced Soof-yon for those who care) called her their cheerleading captain and said she hurt her ankle or something. But they were fun anyway, and played most of the songs I want to hear (the ones on Illinois sort of run together, so I forget which ones they didn't do). I enjoyed them all though, including a very different version of the Star-Spangled Banner. One thing that struck me was when Sufjan said he was going to play a song about his favorite holiday, Casimir Pulaski Day, and a few dudes in the audience yelled "yeaaahhh!!" really loudly. They probably liked the song, or possibly the holiday, but considering the song is about a girl dying of cancer, it was a strange reaction. Same with the reaction to the beginning of the one about John Wayne Gacy. I did wish the encore were longer, and he doesn't seem to be the best banjo player, but I'm not exactly Earl Scruggs either. But minor complaints aside, it was entertaining - at one point I considered naming a kid Sufjan, but eventually decided against it. Sufjan's voice did sound just like on the CDs, which I wasn't quite expecting, since a lot of the time it's pretty quiet. The opening guy, whose name I forget, was decent. I saw a few songs and he had a good voice, but was sort of boring. People talked over him the whole time, which is too bad, but I was guilty a bit too.


handels said...

sounds good! kind of wish i'd been there, but the shins were awesome and jack white is surprisingly... attractive. we left in the middle of the white stripes, though.

Andrew said...

word. why did you leave? and I think Jack White's sister/wife is suprisingly attractive.