Mini Trees: As someone who grew up surrounded by music, it was hard to single out one gig as the very best. But as I sat down and thought about which gig I wanted to highlight I quickly remembered Sufjan Stevens’s Carrie & Lowell tour that I caught in Seattle at the Paramount Theater in 2015. Sufjan has been a songwriting hero of mine since my early teens and I felt lucky to finally see him as a high school senior while he was touring Age of Adz. Despite how much fun I had at that earlier show, the Carrie & Lowell gig at the Paramount stands out in my memory most.
I had just graduated college when Sufjan’s tour came around and as I walked into the theater I ran into dozens of classmates, friends, and even professors. That’s what you can expect when you attend a liberal arts school in Seattle. I had been eagerly anticipating this show since the last one four years earlier, but also because Carrie & Lowell grew to become an incredibly special record that deeply resonated with me and my own personal journey with grief. As Sufjan’s set began, I felt instantly that it’d be a completely different show than Age of Adz.
I vividly remember the beautiful diamond-shaped light fixtures behind the band that displayed changing visuals to compliment the emotional landscape of each song. The audience was oddly but respectfully silent throughout the show, except every now and then when Sufjan would crack a joke. I think he even forgot a few words to his older song “Casimir Pulaski Day”, which was comic relief we all needed. To top off the already perfect night, Sufjan included my favorite song “The Predatory Wasp of the Palisades is Out to Get Us” in his encore, (which was a different selection from other nights according to some friends). I always seem to catch Sufjan on tour when there’s a major transition happening in my life, and given how meaningful his music has been for me throughout my teen years and adulthood, it’s kind of a perfect coincidence.
Mini Trees Recalls Sufjan Stevens: The “Spring” single is out now, and a new album is due in the fall via Run for Cover Records.