I love Sufjan Stevens: any singer with grace-centered theology, an enchanting voice, and adjectives like “mystical apostasy” to describe a Christmas unicorn…now that’s my kind of music. When I found out that he was touring within a feasible distance, I immediately bought tickets and read every concert review I could scrounge up.
We headed to Oxford. I’d never really been anywhere in Mississippi, holding on to every Alabamian’s desperate belief that it is the one state to which we are truly superior. Imagine my combined horror/delight when I discovered that Oxford is actually the most incredible little town. Not only is it home to William Faulkner’s estate (a dream trip of mine, but we arrived a tad late), it is also the real-live Star’s Hollow. I squealed all the way through the square, and almost exploded when we found the coziest book stores imaginable, complete with a book signing! After reading book blurbs to my heart’s content, we wandered into a restaurant that looked delectable (and it was!). If you ever want a nice meal in Oxford, I really don’t think you could possibly do better than City Grocery.
As for the concert, the only word that comes to mind is divine. The mix of sing-along classics, old hymns, and Sufjan shenanigans was truly enchanting. The best part? It wasn’t completely Christmas-fied. Just when I thought it couldn’t get better, he quieted things down with an acoustic rendition of Chicago, and as an encore after the Christmas Unicorn craziness, he played all of my favorites—To Be Alone With You, John Wayne Gacy, Jr., Concerning the UFO Sighting Near Highland Illinois—I spent the majority of the concert leaned over the railing just in awe (that’s the other thing, we had the greatest spot! I could see!), and the rest of the time snuggling to songs like this one.
Great food, music, and company (and a fabulous nap on the ride home?)…
Christmas simply doesn’t get much better.