Sufjan Stevens / My Brightest Diamond St. Andrew’s Wesley Cathedral, Vancouver BC - October 14

Sufjan Stevens / My Brightest Diamond St. Andrew’s Wesley Cathedral, Vancouver BC - October 14
This was the show by which to gauge all other shows, one where the moment, the magic and the music surpassed your greatest expectations and wildest hopes, leaving one breathless, excited yet tranquil. Sufjan’s musical right hand woman, Shara Worden, and the rest of My Brightest Diamond created a beautiful tapestry of sound as the one and only opening act. They’re best described as being akin to a ballet dance, with tiptoeing, grace, lightness and a hidden strength; it’s a unique blend of operatic classical persuasions, rock and indie packaged glamorously in black, white and red. Sufjan entered the stage with a gaggle of musicians (about 14 swarmed onstage), all dressed in masquerade masks with an assortment of wings proudly at the backs of their girl/boy scout uniforms. Interchanging masterfully between grand piano, banjo and guitar, while transitioning smoothly from album to album (although mostly focusing on Sevens Swans and Illinois), Sufjan’s voice is almost too good to be true — it sounds delicate and fragile while remaining entirely sure and strong. The now unmasked hero embodied humility and realness, telling stories of boyhood times with slightly eccentric parents, adventures with friends and his own imagination, and how they spawned the songs that the packed cathedral of devoted fans love and adore. The adored musician of widespread talent also showcased a few newer songs, one for the upcoming season ("That was the worst Christmas ever!”) and one that followed his fascination for wings, bird and kites, "Majestic Snowbird.” With lyrically packed songs, it was no surprise that during "Chicago,” Sufjan momentarily forgot the words and had a laugh before carrying on. After a standing ovation and a simple but fulfilling encore, the crowd left more than satisfied, many claiming this was one of the best shows they had ever seen.