Saturday, 7 July 2007
do I disappoint you?
I still can't quite believe it! I met Rufus Wainwright, backstage, at his concert in Groningen last Thursday. This wasn't a few seconds to get him to sign an autograph or pose for a picture (although we did that as well, as you can see), no, this was having an actual conversation.
Most of it was about K pitching an idea to Rufus, but I got to say a few words to him too and at the end when Rufus said "Thank you", I, possibly a bit too loudly, replied "No, thank YOU!" This was even more amazing than the time I gave him an extremely corny gift (a pair of clog-shaped slippers) and he pulled me back to kiss me when I was already turning away.
How did it come about? Well, K and I got there early and cased the joint, finding the back entrance with a big gate that led to the staff and talent car park. We also found another gate that led through an office building and directly backstage (only with no way of getting in). However we did manage to listen to some of the soundcheck from there.
It was surprising how few people actually made the effort to stalk Rufus (K was inspired by the "Scissorstalkers", by the way) the only person we saw at that gate except for those who were supposed to be there, was a Belgian who had driven up all the way from Brussels and was going to be driving back after the show! Now that's dedication. Lazy me got a hotel reservation and took the next day off work...
We did meet the French horn player, Louis as he left for a stroll (which is what we were hoping Rufus would do) and as he came back. K helped him get back in by pressing the button for him.
Anyway, we were almost about to give up on the waiting around for Rufus and decided to go sit down in the pub on the corner, from which we could just see the exit. But as we walked in we both noticed the only patron carrying a pass inspired by the Release The Stars artwork. This was of course enough to strike up a conversation with him. He turned out to be a really nice bloke called David Phee. He promised to give Rufus K's business card and we all agreed to have a couple of drinks afterwards, since he wasn't working the next day.
So we went back to the official entrance and joined the queue to get into the auditorium. We found seats about ten rows back and were waiting for the concert to start when David appeared at the edge of the stage, looking out into the audience. I didn't notice, but K did. He waved back and David signalled to come over. He said he'd given Rufus K's card and would take us backstage to meet him after the show.
It was hard to contain myself. The show was great, of course, but as usual I don't seem to be able to remember too many details. I just take it as a sign of having such a great time that my brain goes on overload and the memory capacity is temporarily shut down.
During the interval we went around quietly gloating and also trying to find a camera we could borrow. Fortunately darling Joop lent us his. K was willing to hand him his wallet for security, but Joop said "I know her, it's okay." I do remember Rufus inviting everyone to dance at the start of Beautiful Child, but as far as I know only two people got up off their seats: K and myself. After a minute we were both suffering from a combination of embarrassment and disappointment in the rest of the audience and sat down.
Fortunately after the regular set was finished people did get up and gave him a standing ovation. Hardly anyone sat down again until after the show. Although I still felt there was too little dancing.
So... after the show we hung around near the stage, eventually security guards started to shoo everyone out of the auditorium, but I simply told one of them we were waiting for the stage manager to come and get us and they left us alone!
I think it wasn't ten minutes before David came to get us, faster than expected, and took us backstage, up some stairs and there in the hallway was Rufus. He was so nice and of course cute as ever. You can see his hand on my shoulder in the picture, mine was in the small of his back...
After that we handed Joop his camera back and went round the back to look at the people waiting at the gate desperate to catch a glimpse. Of course we didn't have to do anything so common as that anymore...
When David came out we had a drink at the pub around the corner, decided we didn't like the Dutch melodramatic music (akin to German "Schlagers") and went to another bar, and then another... We met up with a couple of girls who were also at the concert and left to a gay club they knew about. David's hotel was on our route, just around the corner from our destination, in fact and he had to get up pretty early, so we dropped him off and the four of us went on to dance and drink for another couple of hours. K and I arrived back at our hotel around 4AM. For some reason I was pretty much awake again at 7, but thanks to the enormous Rufus buzz I suffered no ill effects whatsoever.
Here's the setlist (also borrowed from Joop)
01) Release The Stars
02) Going To A Town
04) Rules And Regulations
06) The Art Teacher
08) Leaving For Paris No. 2
09) Between My Legs
== Intermission ==
10) Harvester Of Hearts
11) Do I Disappoint You
12) A Foggy Day
13) If Love Were All
14) Nobody's Off The Hook
15) Beautiful Child
16) Not Ready To Love
19) 14th Street
== Encore 1 ==
20) I Don't Know What It Is
21) Pretty Things
22) Moulin Rouge
23) Get Happy
24) Gay Messiah
== Encore 2 ==
25) In My Arms