What beter way to suppress your post-holiday-hangover than with some top notch concerts! Last week Arcade Fire blew my socks off, coming Tuesday I’m ready to be wooed by Rufus Wainwright.

Although I had heard several songs by him over the years, I never got into his music until I saw him perform ‘Vibrate’ on Jools Holland in 2004:

Before I often dismissed him for being too over the top and whiney for my liking, but this modest song won me over. The beautifully mobile-phone-age-way of saying you’re available to that particular person any time of day: “my phone’s on vibrate for you”.
It’s so instantly recognisable and sang over the deceptively simple bass plucking (you’ll need to check out the album version for that) it becomes a classic love song. Although Pitchfork disagrees with me, calling it a “cringeworthy attempt[…] to massage fragments of popular culture into his comi-tragedies”. I guess it’s a question of taste, but I quite enjoy the banal being elevated into a song with grandeur and strings.

I started listening to more of his music and, although the overly flamboyant side of the Wainwright spectrum is still not my favourite, found out there is much to love. Personal favourites include The Art Teacher (“here I am in this uniformish pant suit sort of thing”), Beautiful Child and from his latest album Release The Stars: Nobody’s Off The Hook,  Going To A Town and Tulsa, the witty ode to Brandon Flowers, The Killers’ frontman.

During his tour for Release The Stars, Rufus has invited people up on stage to accompany him during the spoken word part of the song Between My Legs. Anyone wanting to participate had to post their audition on youtube, which makes for some hilarious viewing! Watch a few auditions here, here and here. This Dutch girl, Michelle, gets to sing with Rufus on Tuesday in the Heineken Music Hal, good luck!

I’m looking forward to a bit of the Judy Garland tribute material he did a while ago, to this day I’m a sucker for the original Wizard of Oz! The concert is seated and our seats are way at the back on the balcony, but it should still be a lot of fun. Here’s to getting camp in lederhosen!

Rufus

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