The weekend in Amsterdam was splendid. It really is a lovely city, very different from anything I’ve experienced before with bikes and trams and canals and stuff everywhere. To be honest, Saturday was spent just strolling around the streets, shopping at the flea market (my new watch is growing on me) and just getting a feel for the old place. I feel very relaxed today and I consider that a decent chunk of Amsterdam’s ambience has rubbed off on me. Of course, the main raison d’être was to attend the Sufjan Stevens concert at the Paradiso Club, a short walk from our hotel. I have been a huge fan of the esoteric American for quite some time so Saturday was an important night really and I’m thrilled to report that the fellow didn’t disappoint. As predicted, many songs came from the delectable Seven Swans album, including a soaring Sister as an opener, the band and Stevens sporting wings of varied flamboyance as well as mysterious masks as they entered the arena. The whole evening was faultless with so many boxes ticked: gorgeous and utterly moving songs, a charismatic and engaging performer, stunning and enthusiastic musicianship, a cool and receptive crowd and a marvellously intimate venue. There were too many highlights to mention but the mesmeric encore of Concerning The UFO Sighting Near Highland, IL, John Wayne Gacy Jr., and That Dress Looks Nice on You had the hairs on the back of the neck standing on end. I want to see him again.
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