Saturday, 23 June 2007

Rufus Wainwright at Glastonbury

No, I wasn't there, but watched it from the comfort of my living room on Friday evening. It was recorded a few hours earlier to judge from the daylight situation.
    Playing with an all-male band with 3 pieces of wind and without strings or girly voices Rufus attempted to recreate the major part of Release the Stars. I liked the band's mixture of informal stripy suits. Let's leave the jeans and T-shirts for the endless parade of Brit boy guitar bands on the main stage!
    Rufus usually makes a good fist of performing live anything he has recorded, however baroque or concert-unfriendly some pieces might seem. Release the Stars, the song, comes off pretty well as the opener, although his voice doesn't carry well in the mix. The band are up to the job.
    Rules and Regulations is introduced as his next single. Festival-friendly.
    The Art Teacher proves a crowd pleaser, and given that this only exists in live form (on Want Two), he manages a faithful rendition!
    Between My Legs has concert staple written all over it. Rufus's voice struggles with the low notes of the first verse, but the upbeat second tune bails him out. This songs has the secondary interest of who will do the voice-over. This time it was his sister Martha reading from the obligatory piece of scrappy paper. (Is that the same bit of paper they've all used? They really should get it laminated before it falls apart!) Rufus promised Martha would be back, but sadly the BBC decided to continue with their slavish devotion of Arcade Fire, so if she did come back I didn't get to see it.
    The dreary Going to A Town got a faithful rendition, just in case any visiting Americans weren't pissed off enough with the brooches and black stripes of the stage's backdrop.
    Slideshow comes across well, although I struggled with Rufus's exhortation to imagine he is Heart's Ann Wilson playing a festival in 1977.
    Do I Disappoint You was a unlikely inclusion, and afterwards Rufus called it surreal. I'd call it foolhardy.
    Sanssouci was played far too slowly. Not really a crowd pleaser.
    The (TV) set finished with the rousing 14th Street.
    Were you there? Got a picture I could post?

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