Last night, PJ and I went to Rufus Wainwright’s concert at the Lifestyle Communities Pavilion in Columbus. We’d been to this venue once before to see Natalie Merchant. In general, I think it’s a good place to see smaller bands — it’s not too big, you can get pretty close to the stage, and they serve beer and other drinks. This time, we sat in section A row J.

As you can see, that means we were fairly close to the stage. It’s an outdoor venue, so the problem this time was the weather: it was so hot. Add the heat to the fact that the seats are relatively small and bound together and you get a very uncomfortable concert. I had the added difficulty of having to share about a third of my seat with the guy next to me, who took up more room than his own seat provided. Even after sunset, it was terribly hot.

But the concert itself was great. There were two opening acts. The first was A Fine Frenzy, which is the stage name used by Alison Sudol. Here’s a sample of her music:

Her set was pretty short and took place in the blazing sun. But especially considering the heat, she did a great job getting the crowd ready for the subsequent acts. (PJ and I also really liked her drummer, who impressively played percussion and a guitar on one song!)

The second opening act was The Magic Numbers, a British band composed of two sets of brothers and sisters who went to high school together. I found two videos of their music that I liked from the concert, so here they both are:

We both really liked their set too. They seemed be suffering the heat even more than A Fine Frenzy did; they certainly weren’t dressed for 90 degree weather — one of them had a sweater on!

Then Rufus Wainwright came on stage. I should start by admitting that I’ve never really cared for his music. I don’t understand much of what he’s singing and I often find his songs to be a bit cloying. So, I was ready to be underwhelmed. Much to my surprise (and despite the heat and the man next to me) I really enjoyed his performance.

First let me say that Rufus Wainwright is totally hot on stage. He came out wearing a striped suit (with no shirt underneath) with 10 broaches on it. I really liked the chest hair that he was sporting, and he definitely worked that suit. In the second half of the show, he came out in lederhosen. He rocked that outfit too. Clearly, he’s just my type.

The music was great too. He played all of the songs from his new album and a couple of older ones. He also played two songs from the Judy Garland at Carnegie Hall concert that he recreated. OK, so despite my relative youth (I was born after Stonewall), I’m a bit of a Judy Garland queen. One of my favorite songs of all time is “Do It Again.” So, I would love to see Wainwright’s recreation some day, to say the least. The two songs he performed were relatively minor pieces from that concert: “A Foggy Day” and “If Love Were All.” Here’s a clip of the first song from Garland’s t.v. show:

Rufus Wainwright’s version is excellent, and this older music fits in with his original work quite well. It also goes to show that classic standards really can withstand the test of time. Here’s Rufus’s version of “Foggy Day.” (It also shows Rufus in his sexy lederhosen!)

Since PJ and I could see the British Museum from our hotel room when we were in London last month, I’ve decided that “A Foggy Day” will now be our official song. (We’ve never really had one, except maybe Alanis Morissette’s “Head over Feet.”)

All in all, it was an enjoyable concert. I just wish it had been about 15 degrees cooler or that we’d moved to the general seating area (a grassy hillside) for the second half of the concert. I’ll definitely keep a lookout for Rufus’s future concerts.

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