I come and go with Rufus Wainwright – love his voice, and some of his songs, but sometimes I get a bit over the pantomime and pomp aspects. That said, this show was stunning. I had interviewed him earlier and he was great to chat to – I remember being a bit worried he’d be prickly and/or disinterested. He was engaged and engaging and fun to chat with – he was sad about the death of his mother, still (it had cancelled the show earlier in the year) but now the performance was a tribute to her incorporating his album of the time, a suite of songs dedicated to her which he performed in silence throughout the first half.
There were signs up telling people to not talk and the audience respected this and sat in silence. No applause between songs, 50 minutes of only hearing solo piano and that soaring voice. It was amazing.
At the interval there was a rush of excitement, strangers talking to one another; just the chance to speak again, to talk about what they’re seen and heard – as way of processing it –and just a feeling, too, of being let off the hook.
Then we returned for the “hits” and generous banter. It was a great show.
I don’t think I’ve really listened to Wainright since – apart from when he opened for Paul Simon. Also a good effort – in somewhat more trying conditions.
Stubs is an occasional feature here at Off The Tracks – looking back through the ticket-stub box and remembering how the show went down.