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Milwaukee At Last!!! (Live)

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Album Review

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 perhaps, Milwaukee is simply a fantastic listen that showcases Wainwright as both a showman and a deeply creative songwriter with a superb knack for live performance.


Born: 22 July 1973 in Rhinebeck, NY

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

A singer/songwriter whose lush, theatrical pop harked back to the traditions of Tin Pan Alley, cabaret, and even opera, Rufus Wainwright was born in 1973; the son of folk music luminaries Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle, his parents divorced while he was a child, and he was raised by his mother in Montreal. Beginning his piano studies at age six, by 13 he was touring with his mother, aunt Anna, and his sister Martha in a group billed as the McGarrigle Sisters and Family; a year later, Wainwright...
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