For the past 15 years, indie folk hero Sufjan Stevens has been an emblem of genre-busting creativity and perpetual sonic reinvention. As his palette has shifted over the years Stevens' painstakingly crafted songs have remained as ambitious ever, employing an ever-growing arsenal of human voices, classical instruments, and electronic textures to achieve epic, spiritual proportions. It's powerful stuff on record, but it takes on entirely new proportions at his wacky, wonderful live shows. Stevens is a creative visionary on multiple fronts, and his awe-inspiring concerts combine state-of-the-art stage design, outré costumes, extensive audience participation, and a talented backing band that often approaches double digits. Whether he's leading the band through soaring tunes like "Chicago" or returning to the stage with a banjo for a solo encore of the heartrending "Romulus", Stevens always takes ticket buyers on a wild, life-affirming ride.
Detroit-born Sufjan Stevens grew up playing a variety of instruments including piano, oboe, and English horn. After attending high school at Michigan's prestigious Interlochen Arts Academy he attended Hope College, where he learned the guitar and banjo. Post-college Stevens cut his teeth in the folk rock band Marzuki, which he left to release 2000's A Sun Came, his debut solo album that impressed critics with a far-flung range of influences that included Indian, Celtic, Middle Eastern, and American folk music. His 2001 sophomore effort Enjoy Your Rabbit was also well-received, but it was 2003's Michigan, an expansive love letter to the state where he spent his formative years, that really landed him on the national stage. The record was a critical smash, topping year-end lists and drawing him out for extensive touring that introduced fans to his outsized live show. He paid tribute to the stars and stripes once again in 2005 with Chicago, a sparkling concept album that peaked at No. 1 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart and was named the best album of the year by NPR, Amazon, and Pitchfork Media. Following a foray into electronica on 2010's The Age of Adz LP, Stevens returned to his folk and Americana roots for 2015's Carrie & Lowell. A renowned performer known for his infinitely creative live shows, Stevens continues to inspire and entertain every time he takes the stage on tour.