Last night Damon and I went up to Frankfurt to see Rufus Wainwright in concert. It was held at the Alte Oper, which I was sort of excited to see the inside of, but it turned out that it was held in the smaller of two halls in the Oper (Mozartsaal). The room was incredibly small and looked like it had been renovated in the 80s by the looks of the icky gold railing around the balcony. However, the concert was very good. I saw Rufus in 2001, but don't remember him being as entertaining then as he was last night. His recordings and videos come off as overly serious and dramatic, but when he is live you can see it's all just for fun.
There was a clearly planned encore with 5 songs, after which the lights went up - and the audience immediately just packed up and left. No clapping and stomping for a true, unplanned encore. After we left Damon pointed out, I think accurately, that an American audience would have stood there trying for an encore for at least ten more minutes. The concert started and ended very early, too, so time (to make trains, etc.) wasn't really an issue. The audience seemed to like the show very much so I'm not sure why they didn't try. Encores are especially easy to wring out of a singer-songwriter type like Rufus. Oh well, in all it was quite fun anyway.
Rufus wrote his latest album while living in Berlin so three of the songs either have titles that reference Germany or are about German places. All three were played last night. Here they are! (Please leave me a comment if you know of a site where I can embed just audio files instead of putting up these videos. It would be nicer to stream the original recordings instead of digging around youtube for decent-quality live recordings when songs don't have official videos...which I generally don't care for either!)
Going to a Town (reference to Berlin):