Milwaukee at Last!!!
captures singer/songwriter Rufus Wainwright performing live in Wisconsin at the Pabst Theater on August 27, 2007. Recorded while on tour in support of his 2007 studio effort, Release the Stars
, Milwaukee at Last!!!
finds Wainwright drawing heavily from that album, along with a few inclusions from 2003's Want Two
and 2007's Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall
. In that sense, Milwaukee
is reminiscent of the opera-esque aspirations of Release the Stars
, as Wainwright includes the best material off that album and delivers the songs in a timely, dramatic fashion that makes for a well-paced listen. If Rufus Does Judy
was Wainwright's own homage to a classic live recording, then Milwaukee
plays as his own would-be concert masterpiece. Surrounded by a large brass and woodwind ensemble and backed by a superb rock band, Wainwright is left to command center stage here as only he can, with a cabaret sense of derring-do and a theatrical style, while never sacrificing the true emotional weight of his songs. Reminiscent of live shows by such similarly inclined artists as Elton John
, David Bowie
, and, well, Bette Midler
is simply a fantastic listen that showcases Wainwright as both a showman and a deeply creative songwriter with a superb knack for live performance. [A CD/DVD edition was also released.]