Our Matinee Idol
Washington, DC - March 14th 1999
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Written By Khalil
"9:30 Club" Washington, DC on Sunday, March 14, 1999
uhm, let's see, a review
let me first say the 9:30 club was not particular packed that evening, especially since it was snowing and sleeting for several hours and the roads were in horribly unsafe conditions. But, the loyal & devoted fans of Rufus Wainright came out in eagerness to see him perform. And perform he did, on a keyboard with the assistance of a live ensemble of an excellent drummer, back up guitarist, base player (excelling at the stand-up base and base guitar) ...
He played mostly every track from his album and wonderfully; as if you were hearing the final polished track from a studio session where the artist was in rare form that evening. Rare form indeed, comfortably relaxed and eager to share his melodies with anyone interested in listening. To warm up the crowd and his body, Rufus came on stage in his fashion statement of clothes holding a Heinekend, sipping from the bottle throughout the concert. Laid back, cool, comical, and cute, he engaged the young & old of the audience in dialog about his songs or just things that quickly came to mind. He is as unique in that respect as his music. But back to the music, his opening act, Imogen Heap, did the back-up vocals on my all-time favorite, "April Fools," and he also performed a few unreleased & new songs. They are as fantastic as his released tracks, indicating the impression classical music definitely has on his life. But, one track in particular, was lyrically connected to his childhood; this artist is
definitely a modern artist who draws from mostly the love of his family, especially his sister.
If you haven't seen him in concert, yet; you're missing out on some great things. But chances are he'll come around again, if he's passed you already. Because Rufus spent a whopping $700,000 making his album for Dreamworks, he HAS TO tour to make back some of the money. And I think he'll be doing that for quite a while, unless he seriously entertains the idea of trying to release to the pop-loving 90's culture. But that's not his style, he truly wants to develop as an artist, taking things slowly as they come. And in this fan's mind, that's a smart idea. Why become a fly-by-night, one-hit wonder, when you have the talent to develop and brew slowly to a great master of the arts? Rufus has studied the masters so well that he is one. And yet, his intimate club concerts provide you
with an in-depth look into his life. You'll be missing out on a great thing if you wait until this guy is huge and playing crowded stadiums.