Concert Review: Sufjan Stevens at the Beachland Ballroom


You would have to be a real Scrooge to not get a kick out of Sufjan Stevens’s spectacular holiday show that came through town last night. Playing to a sold out audience at the Beachland, Stevens held nothing back for the concert he dubbed “The Surfjohn Stevens Christmas Sing-A-Long Seasonal Affective Disorder Yuletide Disaster Pageant On Ice.” A tinsel curtain flanked the stage and Stevens set up all kinds of kitschy Christmas plastic elves on the stage, which looked like it was created for a high school musical. He installed his own blinding light show and stationed a giant “Wheel of Christmas” on the dance floor. Throughout the two-hour show, he’d invite an audience member to spin the thing and it would land on a variety of yuletide favorites that the band would then perform. He was so adamant the audience sing-a-long, he handed out pamphlets with lyrics prior to the show’s start. Stevens and his large band capably sang classics like “I Won’t Be Home for Christmas” and “Jingle Bells,” the latter of which benefited from tuba and tambourine.

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About The Author

Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected].
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