Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Rufus Wainwright at the Hollywood Bowl

This is just a short clip (not filmed by me) from the concert we saw on Sunday night - an absolute corker of a show, with a fabulous fabulous orchestra, a resplendent Rufus, sensational Martha, and even the legendary Kate on piano for a couple of memorable moments. So much fun!
As you'd expect of this heady mix of Rufus and Judy, this was an outrageous night for people-watching - and you should have heard the audience singing along!
Rufus's voice was not really up to it on several occasions - he was failing to hit high notes towards the end of the night, and even early on, many of the speedy, jazzy numbers were completely beyond him.

The orchestra, though, was out of this world. Fab big brass section, strings and the works.

But Rufus was the first to acknowledge his shortcomings and laugh them off, as did the indulgent audience. He introduced several songs with warnings that he had troouble witht hem, and he ended one particularly difficult song in a blur of words and then 'Whatever!' No-one cared; everyone cheered.

The whole point seemed to have been to recreate a 1961 JG concert right here at the Bowl, and to worship at the temple without slavishly copying Garland's style. And that's what he did.
There was a real Hollywood sort of moment when he spied Debbie Reynolds sitting in the front row and went down to give her a kiss.

When Martha came on and sang 'Stormy Weather', you could hear a pin drop - and later she came back and sang 'Someone to Watch Over Me', in honour of her new husband of two weeks. Both songs were absolute magic, and Rufus was clearly out-performed, though he had a big enough personality to carry it off with grace and affrection. It was all too lovely!

:: Dave and I stayed the night in a marvellous hotel on Hollywood Boulevard, just a walk from the Bowl, and spent Monday in LA.
That night we saw Martha perform in a club that wasn't as big as our Gloster Street family room. the complete opposite of being in an audience of about 10,000 the night before!
I'll post more on all that later ...

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