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Big Ears Festival 2014: Top 10 Performances

on March 31, 2014, 11:56pm
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10. Colin Stetson makes magic with his saxophones

chrisscottcriss colinstetson2 e1396362292749 Big Ears Festival 2014: Top 10 Performances

Photo by Scott Criss

Friday, March 28th, Scruffy City Hall, 8:30 p.m.

Seeing Colin Stetson perform live is similar to observing a talented magician. You have no idea how he’s doing what he’s doing, which makes the whole thing completely enthralling, exciting, and, well, magical. The way Stetson conjures up his albums all by himself is a true tour-de-force in every sense. Armed with just three different saxophones, Stetson worked off his series of New History Warfare albums, in addition to a few rarities he typically can’t perform due to airline restrictions allowing him only two instruments. For Big Ears, he opted for a spring road trip to Knoxville, bringing his full arsenal to treat festivalgoers to “The Stars in His Head” and a few other selections on his alto sax. Usually, I jot down plenty of notes when I’m covering a show, but I was so floored by Stetson’s commanding presence that the only thing I left in my notebook for this entry were two words: “HOLY SHIT”. Pretty sure that’s how everyone else felt, too.

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