Monday, December 17, 2012

Yes, Cleveland, There Is A Christmas Unicorn

I don't normally write about music and concerts, I leave that up to my very capable husband over at Guy About Cleveland - however last night we went to a concert that was so spectacular and so wonderful in every way, that I feel compelled to write about it.

Last night at the Beachland Ballroom was the Surfjohn Stevens Christmas Sing-A-Long: Seasonal Affective Disorder Yuletide Disaster Pageant on Ice, featuring one Christmas Unicorn, AKA Sufjan Stevens.

You're a Christmas Unicorn too. It's alright, I love you.

First of all, I have to say that I love my city and I love the people in it - including the visitors! While we stood in line we met and spoke to a couple of women from Columbus who had driven up for the show. The camaraderie that developed between total strangers over the course of one evening made the show even better.
The majority of the music was Christmas/Holiday related with sing-a-longs interspersed. The songs we sang (the audience and Sufjan) were chosen by the spinning of a Wheel of Fortune-style wheel that extended from the floor to the ceiling of the ballroom. Inflatable Santas and unicorns were flung about the room throughout the show while streamers, confetti and tinsel were also thrown around the stage and audience.
There were times where the show took a more serious and sacred tone, with four-part harmonies of old hymns being sung by Sufjan and his band acapella. Those moments caused the hair on my arms to stand on end - and at times I would look to either side of me and observe the rest of the audience standing in quiet awe, in reverence of what was happening before them.
At a climactic point or two in "The Child With The Star On His Head", a bubble machine started - filling the room with even more whimsy and excitement. At the end of the set, white paper confetti shot out of an air cannon for several minutes, blanketing concertgoers with Cleveland's first accumulating snowfall of the 2012 holiday season. The performance was over the top and exceeded my expectations in every way.
What we were party to last night, was a musical and theatrical performance of sorts, led by a man who loves music, loves Christmas, and loves to delight people - who wasn't afraid or ashamed to bare his soul and passion in a magnificent and flamboyant display.
The encore was made up of non-holiday themed songs - all but the final two being performed by Sufjan alone. The night ended with Sufjan's "Chicago" which as an added bonus, happened to be the song we played as the recessional for our wedding in 2011. I ran the gamut of emotions at last night's concert, but ended invigorated; with happy tears in the arms of the man I married.