Sufjan Stevens continues the grieving process at a sold-out Fox Theater Oakland

Sufjan StevensBy Steve Carlson //

Sufjan Stevens with Helado Negro //
Fox Theater Oakland – Oakland
June 5th, 2015 //

Indie-folk artist Sufjan Stevens played two sold-out shows at the Fox Theater in Oakland last Friday and Saturday, touring in support of his latest acclaimed work Carrie & Lowell.

Stevens mesmerized the seated audience Friday with a setlist expertly crafted to convey the tone of the aforementioned album, which deals with the grief Stevens experienced in the wake of losing his estranged mother Carrie. More than a few tears were shed throughout the audience and on stage, with Stevens burying his head in his hands at times before eventually reaching a sort of catharsis through an intense electronic explosion at the culmination of the fantastic “Blue Bucket of Gold”.

Sufjan Stevens

Stevens spoke of the need for community in the throes of grief, and the audience ably did their part to help him through this very public grieving process. At the end of the main set, a young woman crashed the stage to offer a bemused Sufjan something (a hug? words of love and encouragement?), and it seemed wholly appropriate, as if the audience needed in some small way to collectively reach out to the man after he bared his soul so openly.

Kicking off the show was experimental electronic artist Helado Negro, who brought along two “tinsel dancers” (or “glitter monks”?) to accompany him through his set of mellow pop tunes sung in both Spanish and English — a weirdly appropriate opener for an artist like Stevens to bring along on tour.

Redford (For Yia-Yia & Pappou)
Death With Dignity
Should Have Known Better
Drawn to the Blood
All of Me Wants All of You
John My Beloved
The Only Thing
Fourth of July
No Shade in the Shadow of the Cross
Carrie & Lowell
The Owl and the Tanager
In the Devil’s Territory
For the Widows in Paradise, For the Fatherless in Ypsilanti
The Dress Looks Nice on You
Futile Devices
To Be Alone With You
Blue Bucket of Gold

Concerning the UFO Sighting Near Highland, Illinois
Casimir Pulaski Day
The Predatory Wasp of the Palisades Is Out to Get Us!


  1. Mike Frash says:

    Great report! Wish I saw this one.

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