Thursday, August 16, 2007

neko case & rufus wainwright

last night i went downtown to watch a concert on the cheap. neko case and rufus wainwright were performing at the charlottesville pavilion, and i decided on the free bridge view of the concert. i joined others lined up along the belmont bridge, where you can peek into the pavilion and get some good glances of the performers and hear perfectly good sound (but for the traffic). i was there mainly for neko case, but i was surprised at how short and uninspired her set seemed. she sounded great, but it wasn't all that energetic. there was just something missing. maybe it was tour fatigue, or opening act annoyance, or the heat. or maybe it was just that i was watching her from a nearby bridge. but i'm glad i didn't pay $27 for a ticket.

we used to play rufus wainwright a fair amount at one of my former workplaces. i like his music, but wasn't entirely familiar with it. so i decided to stick around for his show to see what he's all about. i was mesmerized from the first song to the last. his voice was hypnotic, his commentary endearing and his band extremely talented. he went back and forth from solos on the piano to far out complex pieces with the band. he played for a good two and a half hours. this included a long encore set. in the encore, wainwright clipped on some sparkling earrings, slipped on some super-high heels, and dropped the big fluffy white bathrobe he'd worn out for his finale. he pranced around in sheer tights and a suit coat singing judy garland's "get happy." his band, dressed in black, did a choreographed show dance of worship around the singer. it was a good bit of slapstick and drag. correct me if i'm wrong, but this town could use a little more drag.

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