AGE OF ADZ

Lighting Designer/Lighting Director
European Tour, Summer 2011
Celebrate Brooklyn Festival, Prospect Park Brooklyn, Summer 2011

Video Design by www.candystations.com
Scenic Elements by www.adrianwjones.com

THE LOVE, DEATH AND APOCALYPSE PARTY

“What separates a gig from a show? Visuals? Choreography? Costumes? Effects? The whole thing planned to the last detail? Sufjan Stevens’ return to the UK stage in support of his Age of Adz album contains all this and more, and if ever a gig is a show, this is it. And what a show it is. Gone is the quiet folky beauty of 2005′s Illinoise concerts, and in its place is a neon-lit spectacle that alludes visually to Tron, the Mighty Boosh and 1980s rave, and musically owes as much to Sun Ra and dance culture as it does the almanacs of Americana Stevens has previously been in thrall to. But before the new material is allowed to dominate, there is “Seven Swans” from the 2004 album of the same name.The staging is, and I can say this with confidence, unlike anything you’ve ever seen. There are layers of screens, on each of which star projections form into constellations. The stage is awash with fluorescence. Wings are flapping, feathers flying, and you half expect Natalie Portman to throw herself into the audience. The spectacle brings the sort of reverential awe that only taking 3,000 people’s breath away simultaneously achieves….It is the show of a lifetime – a joyous demonstration of what happens when you add conservatoire musicality to the kitchen sink of 21st-century technology. “Mind blown,” says a text from a friend as we shuffle out. “Exactly,” I reply, and that really is better than anything I can offer you here.”

– Simmy Richman Sunday, 15 May 2011, The Independant

BOB’S FAVORITE CONCERT EVER?

“……This past week, nearly 40 years later, I went to a show that may be the new gold standard — Sufjan Stevens, Aug. 3, 2011, Prospect Park, Brooklyn. It’s all part of a fabulous summer festival called Celebrate Brooklyn. Immediately this show was a visual spectacle, inspired by and paying homage to the space age folk art of American painter Royal Robertson. But at its heart were the songs from The Age of Adz which, like Dark Side of the Moon, are about the deeply personal — madness, conflict, lunacy — with music that sounds on the verge of a nervous breakdown. And in that chaos, in that conflict, are moments of resolve. There were times in the pouring rain at Prospect Park when thousands of wet, enthusiastic fans were singing these lines from Sufjan Stevens’ 25-minute epic “Impossible Soul”.  It was one of many cathartic moments in a concert filled with joy, beauty, heart and triumph — but also beach balls, rousing choreography, some of the best multimedia I’ve seen and extravagant pageantry…..”

– Bob Boilen, NPR Music

Link to review