Rufus Wainwright: touching celebrations
His favorites are graying, he confesses himself to have taken a little weight, but the voice, recognizable between a thousand, and his way of nodding when he sings have not changed. Rufus Wainwright celebrated in a grand and generous way Tuesday evening at the Grand Théâtre, his 20-year career on the occasion of the show of his tour “All the Poses”, which he has been carrying around for almost six months all over the planet.
For his first-time audience, it was a privileged moment to revisit the pieces of his first two albums , Rufus Wainwright (1998) and Poses (2001), delivered almost entirely, in two distinct parts. “It’s good to be at home,” said the 45-year-old singer, who initially chose, as a backdrop, a stylized view of Montreal.
Accompanied by five musicians – including the American jazz keyboardist Rachel Eckroth who was the first part brilliantly, strong several flights -Wainwright was often expressed in French in the first hour, delivering some anecdotes, including one for highlight Beauty Mark, composed for her mother, Kate McGarrigle an “extraordinary” woman, but who has been very demanding towards him and his sister Martha.
Beautiful moment of emotion when the singer sang on the guitar Sally Ann, Leonard Cohen, “a friend, almost a member of the family,” had literally adopted at the time, even listening to it loop during two days, which meant for its author that the song should be “not bad”. For the rest of his repertoire, Wainwright added, he never knew the opinion of the late poet singer. “We talked about great ideas like traffic and weather. It was very subtle … ”
Letting down his jacket to appear in a sequined black tank, Wainwright ended the first part of the evening with emotion, first with the resumption of the magnificent song Both Sides Now, which he had the pleasure to interpret recently for 75 years of its author, Joni Mitchell; and the highly committed Sword of Damocles , an open critic of the coming to power of a certain American president ever named.
The second side of the show, stronger and much less talkative, was the business of Poses .
Wainwrigth sat on the piano to sing one of the flagship songs on this album, Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk, followed by Greek Song and Poses ballads .
This time, as a backdrop, Montreal had given way to New York and the Chelsea Hotel, where the grueling composition of this second album had been under the influence of the crystal meth it was destined to become dependent on.
“It’s very difficult to draw the line between the past and the present,” said Wainright, between California and One Man Guy. The tone became darker and more serious for Evil Angel, an illustration of the tormented state of mind that inhabited the singer at the time, not forgetting that other black memory, In the Graveyard.
As a reminder, under a thunderous applause from Louis-Fréchette Hall, Wainright returned to close the evening with three songs, Imaginary Love, Going to a Town and the inevitable Across the Universe , The Beatles.