What's so striking about Wainwright's baritone reed isn't its flexibility or range; technically, it's little more than a one-octave echo of Jackson Browne. Listeners can hear the desperation in lines such as "I saw it in your eyes what will make me live/all the sights of Paris/pale inside your iris/tip the Eiffel Tower with one glance/stained glass cathedrals with one glint/you smashed it with your eyes/one blink and then my heart wasn't there no more" (from "Tower of Learning"). On songs like this, his singing is as dramatic and heartfelt as any rainy-day Thom Yorke, and twice as clever.
Openly gay, Wainwright writes lyrics that neither sting with the resentment of a bitter outsider nor tout the trite pleasures of a life filled with sexual freedom, nightclubs and hot bods. Poses is all-consumingly sensual, but never overtly sexual, and therein lies its beauty. "The Consort" is as close to a love song as Poses has ("together we'll wreak havoc/you and me"). But it's "One Man Guy," a song written by his father, that poses Rufus Wainwright as his generation's master of friendly irony.
Beck and Alabama Shakes...that's about it. I'm sure there's an unknown or two I would…
Well, this years Music Midtown sucks!
I'm pretty sure he was 19.
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Dang. I thought they would name some actual headliners.