Sunday, December 12, 2010

Anniversary Celebration Was Rufus Wainwright In Concert!


Friday, December 10th was our 44th wedding anniversary! I know... :) It so happened that Rufus Wainwright was playing an hour away from home that night (and the next night) at UCONN in Storrs, CT. Being that close, there was no way I would miss that opportunity, so the evening has come and gone. This was my Rufus experience!

We had taken a dry run 2 weeks before so we knew our way to the Jorgensen Center, but didn't know if my husband would be able to drop me off or if he would be able to park in the parking garage and find me inside the lobby...it was all new but it worked out very well.

Tom dropped me off in front of the Center and he proceeded to the parking garage. The lobby wasn't crowded, it was about 7:10. The concert was at 8:00. There was a bar there and a table set up with gay & lesbian literature and people sitting behind the table. There was a large sign announcing not to applaud during the 1st half of the show where Rufus performed "Songs for Lulu." We were asked to wait until he left the stage, then we could applaud. I sat and waited for Tom and in a few minutes he came in and was able to park on the main floor of the garage. We found the elevator to go to the basement level where the restrooms were. We got a couple bottles of water, Tom a coffee, and we found our table I reserved...number 17. In section A it was the left of the stage and on the outside aisle. The theater was smaller than I expected, so I was very comfortable. We were both surprised at the age of the crowd...we thought we might stand out in a sea of college students! Not the case. It was an older crowd with a splattering of young people.

Rufus came on stage at 8:10 and all went dark. There was a huge screen at the back of the stage where images of his "eye" really made up with dark makeup...sometimes there was one large eye that opened and closed, and sometimes there were 6 or 7 eyes of different sizes...this was from the cover of his last CD with the "songs for Lulu" that he sang the first half of the show.

Rufus entered the stage walking slowly toward the piano. He was wearing a long dress or gown in dark grey with a large poofy collar around his neck - I don't know what century that was from...Victorian? It had a long train...he sat at the piano...all was quiet and he started with his first song and continued with these rather odd songs and loud piano playing banging the keys as if possessed by dark spirit. I still am not sure who Lulu is or was...but my husband thought that "he WAS Lulu" the whole first set. What I do know from the comments I heard in the ladies room during intermission was everyone loved Rufus, but disliked this first set...no one liked "Songs for Lulu!" They were very disappointed. For me, his CD was my least favorite, as well. During the performance, Rufus forgot the lyrics to a song he was in the middle of, and he "la la la laed his way through the end of it. I wasn't that surprised because he forgets his lyrics almost chronically. At Carnegie Hall LIVE he did the same thing.

The 2nd half of the concert was wonderful as Rufus sang his popular songs which the audience appreciated so much...plenty of applause and laughter as he would stop and talk for a while...making light asking if the college had a football team, that he'd like the players to attend the next day's concert wearing their helmets! After a song was sung he stopped and went back to another scenario about maybe he should go into the locker room Saturday wearing his "Lulu" outfit! Being open about his being gay, no one was surprised at his comments. :) Rufus said he was comfortable "here" as it was close to his home in NY.

So the show went on as I went through 4 throw-away camcorders and have to bring them to be developed tomorrow. After that I'd like to make videos to post but don't know how yet. So I'll have something to replay on my dream come true night with Rufus Wainwright! Rufus played until 10:45 and left the stage with thunderous applause, and came back to sing 3 more songs before leaving for the night, smiling and waving to his faithful fans. I was elated.

I went to his Facebook page and left a nice comment about my experience, and today I checked to see if there were any videos from his performances at UCONN. There was one video, and I may post it here afterwards. He blundered again last night apparently, through "Hallelujah," forgetting the words...makes me wonder if he has a memory problem as it seems this happens often. So mistakes and all, I will post it if I can, but from Facebook to here, I'm not sure it'll work. For anyone interested, you can go to my Facebook page (Nancy Shewchuk) or go to Rufus's FB page under Rufus and Others and you'll find the video.

That's the end of my experience December 1oth at the Rufus Wainwright concert on my anniversary night! Love you, Rufus! :)

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