Admittedly there were a lot of glittery brooches, there were black stockings, high heels and lipstick, there were the lederhosen and there was even a recorder-solo, yet Rufus Wainwright easily gets away with these frills without it becoming a camp charade. How does he do it?

First and foremost: by singing his knee-high socks off. I was stunned at the consistant power and pitch-perfection of his voice throughout the 23 song setlist. And it’s not as if there’s a lack of drama and high notes in a Wainwright show, but he nailed it every time. Quite frankly, swept up in the brilliant performance of a song like Do I Disappoint You, you don’t even notice there’s a man in lederhosen singing it to you.

Then of course there’s the band, 7 skilled and brooched multi-instrumentalists that make “An evening with Rufus Wainwright and band” run like a well oiled machine. If there’s anything to find fault with, it would be that perhaps it’s all a bit too well oiled. Compared to Arcade Fire last week (which is not a very fair comparison, but for the sake of argument), there were certainly no band members running across the stage posessed by the sheer energy of the music. Each song was like a neatly packaged parcel, with a bow on top.

Las but not least, it’s Rufus himself. His charming between-song-chatter easily wins you over. Wether he’s encouraging the audience to get a few drinks down them in the break, referencing the people with portable beertanks that walked through the crowd when he opened for Keane (Rufus opening for Keane, it sure is an upside down world we live in), or when he’s telling a random story and gets a bit self conscious and boyishly says something like “well, whatever, I had fun”.

The one thing that bugged me about this whole “An evening with…” concept was the sitting down!! I know this is in part a personal thing, I just find it impossible to sit still when I’m enjoying music. Last night I was constantly very aware of the huge black mass of people around me just sitting in their chairs whilst the band is churning out one great song after another, how extremely unnatural! “Why don’t we all leap up and sing and yell and dance??” I kept thinking to myself, but then again, I didn’t do it either. I joined the herd like a good little sheep and in stead sat twitching and writhing around within my personal chair space.

Next time you come Rufus, please leave the chairs at home. I’ll definitely be there!

Below is one of my (far far away & blurry) photos, the setlist and a snippet of Between My Legs with the Dutch competition winner Michelle.

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01. Release The Stars
02. Going To A Town
03. Sanssouci
04. Rules And Regulations
05. Cigarettes And Chocolate Milk
06. The Art Teacher
07. Tiergaren
08. Leaving For Paris
09. Between My Legs
– – – – – – – – – – – – – –
10. Matinee Idol
11. Do I Disappoint You
12. A Foggy Day (Judy Garland cover)
13. If Love Were All (Judy Garland cover)
14. Beautiful Child
15. Not Ready To Love
16. Slideshow
17. 14th Street
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
18. I Don’t Know What It Is
19. Poses
20. Complainte De La Butte
21. Millbrook – dedicated to best friend Fred
22. Get Happy (Judy Garland cover)
23. Gay Messiah

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