Rufus Wainwright

Rufus Wainwright: Concert Review

By Jeff Walsh

Rufus Wainwright suffers from a unique malady: he's too talented. Whereas many artists find a single groove and ride it over and over again, Rufus has no such problem.

If anything, the problem with Rufus is that his material is often so varied, it is hit or miss whether a concert will have enough cohesion to sort of rise above the "bunch of songs" vibe. The last time I saw him do a full set was the night he recorded his live DVD at The Fillmore, and he certainly brought the magic that night.

But tonight at the Nob Hill Masonic Auditorium, the show had a bit of a schizophrenic vibe, with Rufus switching costumes three times offstage and once in front of the crowd, and a set list running everywhere from dirges to pop to Judy Garland to Irish folk songs to Beatles covers to choreographed drag numbers. None of it was bad, it just didn't seem to have that "glue" that could hold it all together.

Rufus Wainwright strikes impressive Poses with new album

By Jeff Walsh

Rufus Wainwright walks into the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco the afternoon before his sold out show. He finishes up a cell phone call, sizes up the room, and immediately approaches me. “I don’t know you, so you must be here to interview me,” he says, and we immediately go find a place downstairs as his crew continues tuning his piano and setting up the stage.

Rufus Wainwright is out, with an impressive debut

By Jeff Walsh

On his debut, self-titled album, Rufus Wainwright's piano-laden songs of love and loss are brilliantly executed. When I first heard it, it didn't fit into any typical genre. It had a timeless quality to it, as any good music should. The words and music were on their own poetic and beautiful, and only improved when intertwined.

I had become aware of Wainwright in a backward fashion. I first read a few mini-interviews with him in the national gay press when his album was released. So, I did know his sexuality going into my first listen of the album. But, I didn't listen for the "gay parts", as I am sometimes wont to do. Yes, he talks about boys when pronouns are specified, but it is very much in the background, with the phrasings and melodies being far more interesting to me. I honestly still can't tell you where he mentions boys, as I've never bothered to dissect the songs. In concert, he recently mentioned one of the songs was about River Phoenix, but without him mentioning it I'm not sure I would ever have gleaned the inspiration.

I can't even tell you what his CD itself looks like, because as soon as I received it in the mail I immediately put it in the stereo, and it has never found its way back out, over a month later.

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