Last night Jodie Sorrell and I went to see the lovely Rufus Wainwright in concert at The State Theatre. Jodie had an extra ticket, and in an extremely kind and generous gesture treated me to the concert! I know, right? Score. It was the first time Jodie and I had ever hung out just the two of us, having met previously through a mutual friend, and we had a hoot of a time!
We began in grand style with some public shaming of ourselves. The support act, a young singer/guitarist from Perth calle Leena, was only mildly engaging with her earnest and complicated folksy songs, and was playing to a half empty theatre. Meanwhile most of the crowd (ie: The Gays and a few others) were still sensibly sipping beverage items in the foyer. Jodie and I sat through her first three numbers or so, and were quietly (we thought) getting our snark on. I mean, does anyone really need to re-tune their guitar before every song? Also, there really isn't any reason to chat to your audience about "this thing that I do" when there is a perfectly good word like "performing" that will suffice.
Anyhoo, to my surprise a tightly wound young woman a few rows in front of us (viewing the concert sans friends it should be noted) turned around and told us to leave if we were going to talk through the entire performance. Well, Leena had one fan in the audience at least. The embarassing thing is, she sort of had a point and I have kind of been that tightly wound person in the past. So we repaired to the gothick splendour of the foyer to get our wine on and look at the pretty boys.
So, the main event. Herr Rufus and his lederhosen. (Actually he started in a sparkly patchwork silk suit with sequins, but the lederhosen made an appearance for the second half.) He was fabulous. He certainly knows how to put on a show, and his little quips and anecdotes, and one song dedication to "the pretty Australian surfer boys" (and then a request for phone numbers if any were in the house) just added to the fun of the show. At one point Jodie turned to me and said "Oh, I've never heard him speak before!". Ha ha! Yes, this boy is camp.
Rufus was particularly enamoured of the splendour of the State Theatre, and proved the acoustics by singing a traditional Irish folk song without the aid of the microphones. This boy can sing out, let me tell you. It was a great moment, and you could have heard a pin (brooch?) drop.
Anyone who is going to see the concert tonight STOP READING NOW.
Ok, are they gone?... Good.
The encores were amazing! After a long closing musical interlude, where the band members exited the stage one by one, they all returned in formal suits and with Rufus in a white robe. Something is up I thought. Yup, at the start of song three of the encore he proceeded to sit front and centre stage and slowly clip on some diamante earrings... then on went some lipstick... then some high heels. The lights dipped and then standing before us was Miss Judy Garland, in black stockings, fitted tuxedo jacket and black fedora! He then belted his way through a spirited perfomance of "C'mon, Get Happy!" while the band members did service as back up dancers.
That my friends is entertainment.