Rufus Wainwright's sold out show at Hamer Hall. This was my first time seeing the newly renovated Hamer Hall and the building is much more open now and looks great. I managed to get a seat in the stalls close to the front so I had a good view of the stage. The opening act was US singer-songwriter Krystle Warren, who is also a member of Rufus' band. She played a half hour set of bluesy songs on acoustic guitar and had an expressive and soulful voice.
Rufus and his band emerged onto the darkened stage and started with an a cappella version of "Candles" before launching into "Rashida." Rufus was wearing a sparkling white suit from his recent wedding that he said made him look like a snowflake. The set featured many songs from his fantastic new album Out Of The Game, including my favorites "Perfect Man," "Montauk," and "Out Of The Game."
Rufus was very funny with his between song banter. We were treated to some old favorites such as "April Fools," "Cigarettes And Chocolate Milk," "Going To A Town," "The Art Teacher" and "14th Street." There was also a portion of the set which featured songs from Rufus' parents. Teddy Thompson and Krystle Warren each sang a Kate McGarrigle song (Teddy's version of "Saratoga Summer Song" was amazing), and then Rufus and Teddy did Loudon Wainwright's "One Man Guy" (which was also on Rufus' album Poses).
The encore for the show was probably one of the biggest spectacles ever. The band came out in costumes along with a man dressed as cupid, and they had everyone get up on their feet and dance in order to summon Rufus Apollo to the stage for a dance party. Rufus eventually appeared in the crowd wearing a toga, blond wig, eye mask and glitter all over his body singing "Bitter Tears." He wandered around the section I was sitting in and gathered a group of people from the crowd and led them in a conga line up onto the stage. Towards the end of the song Teddy emerged with a giant lightening bolt and struck Rufus down. He then proclaimed that he was in fact the "Gay Messiah" and they finished the night with that song. It was another fabulous Rufus show and a fun time as always when he plays with his band.
Here's the video for "Out Of The Game" featuring Helena Bonham Carter