Wainwright does Garland in Carnegie Hall: (part 2)

June 15, 2006

rwbelts.jpg

Photo by Daniel Shiplacoff.

I took notes on many of the songs and will include them for those who are interested.

FIRST HALF
1. Overture: The Trolley Song / Over The Rainbow / The Man That Got Away

The tone is set for the evening, the overture gives us 3 of the most famous songs and the audience goes wild.

2. When You’re Smiling (The Whole World Smiles With You)

Rufus appears, the audience goes wild. His voice is in excellent shape. What a hoot to hear Rufus sing songs like this.

3. Almost Like Being In Love / This Can’t Be Love

Microphone cable gets caught on stand (use the wireless Rufus). Nice performance. Takes off jacket and chats with audience (“this is where Judy talked to the audience”). Confesses wanting to be Dorothy as a little boy and sometimes the wicked witch of the west, as well as early memories of wearing his mother’s clothes.

4. Do It Again

“This one is in the original key” — meaning that the rest of the songs had been transposed to fit his range. This song shows off his beautiful high tenor voice.

5. You Go To My Head

Sassy if not bossy performance. Even includes Judy’s slip-up: “…can’t remember the gosh darn words” and the audience chuckles.

6. Alone Together

Rufus says he didn’t like this one originally, but now it’s one of his favorites.

7. Who Cares? (So Long As You Care For Me)

This one didn’t work for me. There are no long lines in this song. Rufus needs long lines to feed on, too jazzy for the current Rufus.

8. Puttin’ On The Ritz

Well done, but damn — some of these arrangements are so SHORT!

9. How Long Has This Been Going On?

This one fits his voice beautifully. The arrangement was tasteful but two acoustical problems showed up: the guitarist, who was excellent BTW, often plays off the beat strums. The problem is that is created an echo/slapback in the room. I was also puzzled why they didn’t put an acrylic box around the drummer, as he had some similar issues. Balancing with the drummer is always tricky in vocal music of ANY kind.

10. Just You, Just Me

Three cheers for Rufus: the song got off to a bad start, and he stopped it and started it again. Like “Who Cares” this one didn’t really seem like a song Rufus would ever pick to do if it weren’t part of the original program. It requires a Jon Hendricks style singer who has some scat chops, which RW doesn’t have yet.

11. Man That Got Away, The

This is a song where Rufus channels Judy. It fits his voice beautifully, as it did Judy. I hope he does this one for solo voice and piano in future concerts.

12. San Francisco

Campy, campy Rufus does it. Gratifying long lines sung on bended knee. Al Jolson would have been proud.

[continued: part 3]

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

citrus June 15, 2006 at 6:03 am

Dern! Wish I could have been there!
Citrus

kae June 15, 2006 at 8:44 am

Thank you for the reports! I was impatiently waiting for them yesterday night, it was a relief to read yours.

Intriguing that they didn’t solve the drumming issue better, as it was one of their major concerns (ref. to Time Out NY).

pucks_soul June 17, 2006 at 5:04 am

Al Jolson would have indeed been worried that this upstart would steal his thunder, Rufus absolutely owned these songs and San Francisco as well, he dug deep and it paid off, big time.

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