Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Rufus Wainwright at Borders, 5-19-2007

Okay I'm finally getting around to this. Two and a half weeks ago (Saturday May 19) I caught Rufus Wainwright's appearance at Borders in Bryn Mawr PA, where he gave a short performance and signed copies of his new CD Release The Stars. His appearance was scheduled at 2:00pm and I had to work at my day job this morning, but I did get off at 1pm, so I went straight to Bryn Mawr from there, which took me about half an hour. I found Borders and was lucky to find a spot in their parking lot quickly, which was quite full. Got in through the back enterance at 1:30pm and found that the performance was to be on the first floor. I was told to go to the information desk to get a ticket to get my CD signed (which I had to buy in advance), but when I got there there was no one there, so I had to keep myself from going into total spazz mode. Fortuneatley I asked a nearby customer where to go and she said that the tickets were being given near the store's front enterance. So I got my ticket (I was number 161) and bought a CD and looked for a place to watch Rufus. I couldn't get up front since all the spots were taken up early. So I wound halfway pn the staits between the first and second floors, where I did get a decent view. The majority of the crowd was college/alternative rock kids and/or NPR types. Lots of people were there but it was not insanely overcrowded; you wouldn't have much trouble getting around store then.

Rufus walked into the room at 2:00 sharp to the glee of the crowd. He performed three songs. Fitst he did "The Art Teacher" (from his last album Want Two) on a Yamaha keyboard, then "Sanssouci" on acoustic guitar, and then back to the keyboard to close with "Going To A Town," the first single and video from the new album. He also said some humorous things between songs, such as his opening comment where he noticed the absestos ceiling of the first floor, as well as how much he liked his new clogs.

Then Rufus was then taken upstairs to the second floor where he signed copies of his CD. Unfortunately due to the size of the crowd and the tightness of Rufus's schedule he was not personalizing his signatures, nor could you pose with him for a photo (though you could take pictures of him from the line for autographs). At first people were taken in groups of 25 (hence the tickets the staff were giving out earlier), but after half an hour the staff just let the rest of the fans to go upstairs. I did go to the second floor but I lingered around there for a bit, where I could hear Rufus's distinguished laugh. A woman staff member was condesendingly directing the crowd and barking orders like a grade school teacher, much to the annoyance of at least a few fans as well as the slight embarassment of Rufus himself. (Appearently that certain Borders was not that familar with how to direct such an event like this before.) So I finally got into the line and it moved quite fast. In several minutes I did wind up meeting Rufus and he signed the CD I had. I told him that I loved his work and I hoped that the rest of the weekend went well for him and he thanked me. All in about 15 seconds, which was quite anti-climtic considering how much I was looking forward to this and yet I ended up feeling rushed through this. As I started walking out the store, the female staff member who considered herself as a traffic cop shouted out that it was last call to get their CD signed. It was about 3:30 when I left--which I was suprised, since I had originally expected a longer wait. I wished my meeting with Rufus wan't so brief. I wanted to savor that moment more. But hey, I did wind up getting a signed copy of his latest CD (my second copy to be exact--I bought my first copy the day it was released five days before) and did give him a few encouraging words. And Release The Stars has been getting played a lot on my stereo since then, it's so good.

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