Return of the Rufus

Last night perusing the Chicago Reader whilst enjoying a ribeye and baked potato, my eyes flashed upon an ad for Rufus Wainwright at The Venue at the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Indiana on Friday October 17.  My excitement turned to despair when I found out I had just missed the presale by a couple of hours, but I managed to snare two seats in Row GG this morning when the tix went on sale to the general public.  Now I’m obsessing over which side of the stage I’ll be on and how I’ll pay my Mastercard bills, but at least when they come to take away my laptop, I’ll still have a concert to look forward to.

This will be a solo show, only the second of those I have seen Rufus perform.  The last was a disaster, as it occurred in November 2004, just a few days after my last course of chemotherapy.  Originally scheduled to end early enough to be recovered for the show, I had to delay my last treatment until I completed treatment for an unbearably painful root canal.  Worn to a nub from a year in which most of my energy went to fighting breast cancer and the rest to mothering my daughter, I had no resilience and the unrelenting toothache was the last hardship I could possibly bear.  When I found out I would still be chemo-sick for the concert, I wept like a child whose delicious scoop of ice cream had just plopped off onto a dirty parking lot.  I still had in my hand part of the thing I desired, but all hope of transcendence had been snatched away.

Given my physical state and the realities of taking public transportation from 89th & Kedzie to Belmont & Sheffield, the show was basically as deflating as I expected through no fault of The Rufus. Not only was I queasy, but my seat was too far back and I felt distanced from the experience.  Torn between missing the show altogether and being present in body but not in spirit, I had chosen the latter.  To put the icing on the cake, my ride was late and by the time Rufus walked right past me on Belmont Avenue, I hardly cared.  I just wanted to go home and be miserable, because that was what I did in those days.

This has all been a terribly long-winded way of saying that I’m terribly excited to see a Rufus solo show under better circumstances, with reserved seats.  Looks like seats are moving rather slowly than I would expect if the show was in Chicago, so if you read this you may still have a chance of getting good seats.  Unfortunately the show is 21-and-over and may present transportation problems for locals without wheels.  I personally can’t think of a better excuse to rent a car, but you may also want to look into casino shuttles.  My research indicates it may be possible to get a shuttle from a downdown hotel, possibly the Hyatt.  If you want to see this show but are not sure how to get there from Chicago, I would suggest you call the Horseshow at 866-711-SHOE (7463).  One caveat: Unlike Chicago, Indiana allows smoking in clubs and you should expect to come home smelling like an ashtray.

One of the pleasures of a Rufus solo show is that he isn’t tied to a setlist and can pick and choose from his repertoire at will.  Under those circumstances, there is always more chance of hearing an obscure gem such as some of the ones on the list to follow.  Even before I heard this show was coming up, I started compiling a collection of Rufus oddities for a dear friend I’ll be meeting up with at the end of this month.  Consisting of soundtrack cuts, live tracks, extra tracks, duets and such, it must be pretty good because I can’t seem to stop playing it.  I make no apologies for the unbridled fan worship embodied in the title, which makes humorous reference to throwaways in recognition of how precious few of them this intoxicating performer has produced.

Even His Throwaways Take My Breath Away

  1. Es Mus Sein (Extra track on the Japanese CD of Want One)
  2. Banks of the Wabash (From 4 Chansons Inedites, a bonus EP included with his self-titled debut album in France)
  3. Sonnet 29 (From the EMI compilation When Love Speaks, a collection of recordings of Shakespearean sonnets)
  4. He Ain’t Heavy (From the Zoolander soundtrack)
  5. Au Fond du Temple Saint (With David Byrne, from Byrne’s Grown Backwards)
  6. To America (With Joan Wasser, recording as Joan as Policewoman, from her To Survive)
  7. Quand Vous Mourez de nos Amours (From 4 Chansons Inedites)
  8. Hallelujah (From the Shrek soundtrack, so help me)
  9. I’ll Build a Stairway to Paradise (Aviator soundtrack)
  10. Keep Cool Fool (Live at the Sarajevo)
  11. Chelsea Hotel No. 2 (Leonard Cohen I’m Your Man soundtrack)
  12. La Complainte De La Butte (Live on KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic)
  13. Last Cup of Coffee (Live)
  14. Velvet Curtain Rag (Extra track, Japanese Want One)
  15. L’Absence (Want Two DVD live track)

Stumble It!

Leave a Comment so far
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: