Sufjan Stevens had his work cut out for him on Wednesday night at SMU's McFarlin Auditorium: He had the daunting task of convincing everyone in the room--himself included--that he's more than just a guy with a banjo and some folk songs.
The direction that his music has taken on his new album, The Age Of Adz, is shockingly different from his previous soft spoken, folk-driven efforts. It finds Stevens sharing hip-hop/electronic-based songs about heartache, recovery, and the apocalypse where happy songs about Midwestern states used to be.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
And while this live performance probably made Steven's new musical direction more feasible to fans who were still on the fence, it also exposed some of its faults.
But with the help of his expert 11-piece backing band, which included two drummers and a trombone section, those moments were hardly noticeable.
Things got a little indulgent. The new tracks featured polyrhythms, key changes, halfway-choreographed dance moves, all of which hung like ornaments on an over-decorated Christmas tree. Thankfully, those moments came and went quickly, as Stevens was concentrated on singing and playing every note perfectly.