Rufus Wainwright's voice is an acquired taste. Like black coffee or stout, dry vermouth on the rocks or oysters on the half shell. Some people never acquire it.
Me, I'm smitten.
I think it's the way his gravelly baritone and the intensely personal poetry of his words contrast with all that velvety rich campy goodness of his manner that does it for me.
Mr. Wainwright was in grand form last night at Cirkus in Stockholm (the perfect venue - as big as you can get while still being intimate). He was unfaltering: a bit of razzle dazzle, a bit of heartbreak, a bit of angry politics, the songs lush, brash or meltingly beautiful. He is a consummate musician.
I even forgave him coming out in the second half of the concert in lederhosen, a look that no one can really pull off, God only knows what possessed him to try (there's something vaguely national socialistic about lederhosen, isn't there? In his defense, he did say something about not being able to afford a video and his cheap alternative is costumes at his shows to add glamor and interest, which did make me laugh). He can, however, pull off the black- sheer- stockings- staggering- pumps- fedora- and- suitcoat- without- trousers look, which he did at the end of his encore, channelling Judy Garland singing "Get Happy," complete with his band jumping wildly around him, dressed in black suits and pink button-down-collar shirts.
The husband, A. the TV producer and I wafted out of the theater on a glittery cloud of bliss.
Oh, Mr. Wainwright. You're really something, you are.
The Swedish word for the day is euforisk. It means euphoric, of course.
- by Francis S.