Then we went in for the actual show. The bad news: our seats were way up on the second tier, in the last full row. The good news: the opera house at the Kennedy Center is a tiny little jewel box of a space (one reason why it's so hard and so expensive to get opera tickets in this town), and we were right up close to the pretty cut-glass lights in the ceiling, which added to the spectacle. Also, being high-up as opposed to down in the orchestra, we got a good view of Sufjan Stevens's hands flying all over the piano keyboard.
He was on stage (in a suit and tie, awwwwww!) with a 24-piece orchestra by my count. Some of them were his own band, but most were members of the opera house's orchestra. They sounded really big together. They only had an hour, and they did about four songs from Greetings from Michigan and five from Illinoise, and a couple of others I'd never heard. The highlight, I think, was a gorgeous arrangement of "Sleeping Bear, Sault Ste. Marie" by the orchestra's conductor, a real bit of musical synergy (as much as I don't like that word). "Casimir Pulaski Day" was good too. None of the songs were bad. The whole thing wasn't bad at all, especially not for a Monday night.