Rufus Wainwright has the ability to make you feel nostalgic about a place you’ve never been to before. Armed with a grand piano and a wit sharper than Joan Rivers’ claws, Rufus dazzles audiences with a voice that reaches volumes you could not have imagined from such a tiny body. Besides literally making love to each sound that comes out of his mouth, he glides through the notes so effortlessly that he almost makes what he does seem easy. His gift of understanding music translates into how he conveys it – never ever making you question the authenticity of his performance.
Seeing him perform live should be on everyone’s bucket list. And if you are not even slightly moved by the Wainwright experience then your sense of what is right with the world should be seriously re-examined.
Rufus shot into main stream fame after the release of the Shrek soundtrack, in which he performed and re-established the genius that is Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah (which first made waves when the late Jeff Buckley did a soulful yet understated cover of it). With his clever and very subtle use of instruments showcasing his gloriously luminous voice, he tricks even the most astute skeptic into thinking that they too have the power to be divine.
One of my other favourites is a song called Agnus Dei, with a lengthy intro but well worth the wait when at the end the songs sighs a mighty sigh of relief, promising that everything will be okay and that the universe is ultimately and essentially good. Everything and anything strange about life is somehow carefully stitched into what and how Rufus sings, making it very easy to imagine the magical world in his head.