Out of These Shadows Comes the Light, Part II
September 27, 2008, 4:34 am
Filed under: Rufus Wainwright, Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

I won’t make a habit of repeating videos I’ve already shown you in these posts, but I might do it once or twice to make a point.  Tonight’s point is simply that I’d like to take a moment to remark upon the tremendous difference between the Rufus Wainwright of February 14, 2003:

and the Rufus Wainwright of 10/06/93, also on the David Letterman Show:

Not only is he looking hale and hearty, he is leading an expanded ensemble that I like to think of as the Rufus Wainwright Big Band.  As far as I know, this was the only appearance of this entity and it is hence worth revisiting.  Some commenters on the fan forums found fault with the vocals and remarked that Rufus seemed unhappy with the performance, but I thought he seemed invigorated by the experience of leading this group of stellar musicians.  Teddy Thompson was there, perhaps one of his last stage appearances with Rufus.  The blonde on violin is Joan Wasser, who records as Joan As Policewomen and toured with Rufus in 2004 and 2005 (he also duets with her on her 2008 song “To America,” which you can listen to in its entirety here), and Martha and Jenny Muldaur on backing vocals.

I recorded this performance on videotape and have watched it more times than I can tell you, so excited was I to see Rufus looking like himself again and tackling such a complex arrangement in a television appearance.  It might not have been note-perfect, but it promised so much and reasserted the boldness and charisma that had been lacking in his February performance.  Watching this performance, I felt all the more excited looking forward to his performance at the Vic in Chicago, scheduled for October 13.  Little did I know that this would indeed be a very memorable Rufus show for me, but not for the reasons I had hoped.

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