When it was announced Rufus Wainwright was appearing in Vicar Street I didn’t pay much attention, that is until Adam Cohen was announced as supporting him. Never before in all my years going to concerts have I gone just to see a support artist but for Adam I most certainly was prepared to make the exception. Also supporting was Teddy Thompson. I confess besides the covers Rufus and Teddy have done of Leonard Cohen songs I know very little about their music, however this didn’t take away from a very enjoyable night and it was interesting being at a concert where I knew very little of the music performed.
After a delayed start Teddy Thompson opened the show with four songs. I was very impressed with his strong vocals and guitar playing on all four songs and indeed what was very rare for concerts was that last night both Teddy and Adam got an excellent response from the crowd. Due to the delay Adam’s set was for five songs only, four of his own songs and then as always his wonderful cover of his fathers song So Long Marianne. Adam was in great form making loads of jokes including that he didn’t know how Rufus had managed to inseminate his sister but that he did! I’m noticing every time I see Adam in concert he is getting better and better. As always Mai Bloomfield and Michael Chaves were excellent and their musicianship didn’t go unnoticed by those in the audience unfamiliar with Adam’s work. It was great to see a standing ovation for Adam, Mai and Michael as they took a bow. This is certainly something I never witnessed in concert before, a standing ovation for a support act.
Between Adam’s and Rufus’ sets I overheard many people discussing how impressed they were and not only with Adam and co but also I overheard a few people saying that they would like to see his father in concert now too. I told anyone near me that if they ever get the chance to see Leonard they have to take it! I spoke briefly to Adam during this time and I was pleased to hear that he will be back in Ireland next April. I told him I am going to see his father in Montreal and he told me his father is the best to which I agreed but told him he was next best. He also repeated this loudly to others gathered around how his father is the best. It gave me a warm feeling how proud Adam is of his father.
While I was talking to Adam we heard Rufus coming on stage so I went in through the doors and watched the first song at the side not wanting to interrupt anyone trying to find my seat and waited until the song was over to go back to my seat. For the first song the only lights were from candles from the stage and I was impressed from the start with Rufus and his band which included Teddy Thompson. After the opening song the stage was lit up and we could see all the band including backing singers, a keyboard player, drummer and various guitar players. Rufus alternated without instrument to guitar and grand piano. As stated at the start of this review I confess I know very little about the music of Rufus with the exception of Leonard Cohen covers that he has done. I vaguely recognised a couple of songs but the only one I actually knew was his cover of Everybody Knows. For once not knowing the songs didn’t bother me. I enjoyed hearing them for the first time and the standard of performance was high from everyone on stage. Not knowing the songs gave me an opportunity to take in the audience reactions and it was plain to see there were many people there who knew every word of every song.
While the concert was very enjoyable the finale was amazing. As I had taken loads of photos and not wanting to be taking repeats of similar scenes I’d put my camera away for the encores. It was quickly retrieved when this guy came out on stage dressed as cupid and slowly various band members came out dressed up. Cupid and Rufus dressed as an emperor even took to walking amongst the crowd before being bringing a group of the audience back on stage. It was a wonderful end to the concert and completely to me unexpected. I left Vicar Street very impressed at what had been a very enjoyable evening from start to finish!