Friday, January 21

Botanical Nights: Another July with Rufus Wainwright, one of us | Culture

A July in Madrid is no longer the same without Rufus Wainwright. The one in 2020 was not; and not only for that reason, but also. The ill-fated edition of Botanical Nights last year jumped through the air like the agendas of any earthling without vocation as a hermit, but, set to rescue some international figure for this course, no one better than the Canadian from New York. And so it was that we recovered our particular ritual: the author of The art teacher He looks so loose and familiar with the capital that we should go looking for a place to baptize it with his name. But in life, of course, that at 47 years old we want to squeeze a good handful of more albums out of him.

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This was going to be something else, of course. It should have coincided with the release of Unfollow the rules, just now a year ago; an adorable album about serene, beautiful and free love that also ended a prolonged period of severe dieting. But what happened happened, and it is enough that Rufus is already one of us to pretend that he also presents himself with a band. “I know it’s not the same, even if I’m not bad at all,” he laughs before we have finished processing the disgust. Growing up has a lot of good things: evolving from divism to sarcasm and self-parody, for example.

No, Rufus McGarrigle Wainwright is not bad at all, even in the stark and severe loneliness of these occasions. The nudity and parsimony are more than compensated because he sings to us with that capital, portentous voice that God himself or his parents, Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle, have given him, genuine pagan deities. His is an overwhelming voice, no longer installed in a supernatural vibration, but apparently capable of emitting harmonics like a bloody Stradivarius. We have heard it many other Joules, as we said, and in cold months as well, and there is no way to believe it. Only to consider ourselves fortunate to have coincided in time and place with this creature during our respective stays on Earth.

Rufus Wainwright used his guitar after beginning the performance with the piano, in Madrid.
Rufus Wainwright used his guitar after beginning the performance with the piano, in Madrid.Jorge Fuembuena

Deprived of his band, Wainwright did not want to give excessive prominence to the repertoire of the last album, although he made the most of the expressive possibilities of Early morning madness, visceral chronicle of thankless hangovers, and gloated over the ecstatic Only the people I love: almost a prayer, slow and lilting, that prompted the odd amen in the form of an enthusiastic shout among the parish. But there was more time, in short, for great successes and some curiosity. Among the first, the inescapable Gay Messiah, a capital hymn of pride in a high or low box, this time expressly dedicated to Samuel Luiz, the boy who was beaten to death in A Coruña. We, who thought we were already cured of fright. And what about.

Rufus Wainwright, at one point during his concert in Madrid.
Rufus Wainwright, at one point during his concert in Madrid.Jorge Fuembuena

It is endearing to corroborate the sidereal distance that continues to exist between the pianist Rufus and the guitarist; the first exquisite, the second messy. At the piano, no one like Wainwright to glorify love in any degree of parentage: from his daughter Viva, recipient of My little you, to that Vibrate which is sublimated love: the greatest thing someone who has noticed you can sing (even if they mention Britney Spears). On the guitar, it doesn’t matter if some chord stumbles in Out of the game; in return, he recovers the sensational and visceral Go or go ahead, that we have not listened to him for a century.

The dedication to Samuel colored the last section with gravity and significance, during which it is not frequent that it emerges Zebulon, a sorry, strange and damned beautiful song, more abundant almost in silences than in melody, and followed by the 1,800 spectators with sepulchral reverence. Rufus will return next summer (in July, of course), to present his opera Hadrian at the Teatro Real, and then he will recover all the aura of almost imperial grandeur that he deserves. Meanwhile, that feeling of familiarity that has been forging with him is wonderful; Regardless of whether you head to the hotel or stop at Tony 2, that unclassifiable piano karaoke bar, Rufus is forever one of us.

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