Date: June 9, 2013
City: San Francisco, CA
Venue: Davies Symphony Hall
Artist: Rufus Wainwright
Opening Act(s): n/a
A co-worker introduced me to Rufus Wainwright in 2001. We listened to “Poses” at the office often. The entire album is fantastic, but my favorite song was “Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk”. I saw Rufus for the first time at Austin City Limits Festival in 2012. He blew me away. His voice was incredible. My only disappointment was that he did not perform my favorite song.
If he sounds that amazing at a festival I could only imagine how he would sound with the acoustics at Davies Symphony Hall. The show was just Rufus Wainwright playing either a piano or one of two guitars. He was stellar.
After the first song he joked about how he had to unbutton his jacket because he was getting fat at almost 40. He said something about having to look perfect for the first five minutes or so and then being able to relax and look normal. He buttoned the jacket when he got up to pick up one of his guitars. Once the guitar was on he unbuttoned the jacket again. Not only did he sound fantastic he joked and told stories to the crowd.
Rufus told us about performing in Northridge the night prior and how when he performed “California” he felt bad because he couldn’t tell them that the song was really about them and told us that the song was definitely not about us. Oh wait, I wasn’t supposed to tell anyone he said that.
He played my favorite song, “Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk”, which he hadn’t performed at Austin City Limits. When he performed “Poses” he accidentally moved ahead to the second verse, but caught himself and went back to finish the first.
The show ended with Rufus singing “Candles” a cappella without music or microphones. This was to as he said; turn the hall back over to the more classical music that is usually played there. His voice carried through the hall beautifully – absolutely phenomenal.