As a singer-songwriter-orchestra leader, Sufjan Stevens' biggest strength is his ability to overcome the inevitable sense of preciousness that he has been both acclaimed and criticized for. Appropriately enough then, Stevens started off last night's set at the Paramount Theatre (a venue probably chosen for it's quaint spelling of "theatre" as much as its bourgeois seating arrangement and art deco backdrop) with the intimidating 8-minute title track from his latest album The Age of Adz set to a backdrop of animations that fell somewhere between Metropolis and the trench run scene from Star Wars.

The song is somewhat unsure of it's own assertiveness though, as it alternates between moments of imperial bombast, chamber pop and something like a church youth choir wearing leftover costumes from a high school musical about space travel. "Adz" would set the tone for the rest of the set which alternated between plucky, intimate numbers and a soaring orchestra of live and electronic instruments.