I’m not sure how it wasn’t on my radar — probably because the tickets went on sale back in August — but I didn’t hear about last Sunday’s Rufus Wainwright show at Benaroya Hall until last Saturday. The announcement came over the KEXP airwaves as I was driving up Capitol Hill, subsequently almost taking me off the road. A few frantic calls and texts later, I had found some last-minute tickets about an hour before set time. Off to Benaroya it was.
There’s nothing quite like being ushered into a sit-down theater into really, really good seats. As we were brought down the left-center aisle, we kept waiting for the woman to stop and seat us, and the further we went, the further my jaw dropped open. (Not that there’s a bad seat to be had in that venue, mind you.) Finally, she stopped at about the ninth row, and pointed at the two aisle seats — stunned, terribly under-dressed to occupy the same space as the Seattle Symphony, and giddy with the prospect of an amazing show, we gratefully fell into them and waited for the show to start.
It’s difficult to find the proper adjectives to describe the hour-plus performance that Wainwright put forth. In all honesty, I am not an album collector of his, though I’ve heard the rave reviews and just about worshipped anything of his that was ever put on a mix tape for me. Covers, originals, all of it — it seemed as though, from what I had heard, that he could do no wrong. And based off the response from the nearly sold-out crowd at Benaroya, that was exactly the case. Taking the stage with a flourish, quipping jokes with the crowd, weaving the audience through old and new selections — the whole thing really was a sight.
Here’s the set list, thanks to some attentive fans over on the Rufus Wainwright message board:
Give Me What I Want*
A Woman’s Face
Not Ready To Love
Cigs & Choc
Going To A Town
The show was sans-photo pass, so unfortunately that’s all the review-news there is to print. But here’s a clip of Wainwright doing one of his most famous covers — Hallelujah. Enjoy![video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmbQEQltOwM]