Posted in music | pictures on March 11, 2009

words & photos by Jacob Blickenstaff

Blackout Sabbath

At the City Winery last week (3/4), Rufus Wainwright put together an acoustic, unamplified show lit only by candle light to promote BlackoutSabbath, a kind of grass roots conservation thing inspired by the improvisational adaptation of New Yorkers during the Great Blackout of years past.

Ironically, the only low point of the evening was when two hoped-up Obama campaigners went on a bit too long about 'change'. Otherwise the music was excellent - intimate, warm and playful.

The gang included Rufus, Aunt Sloan, Lucy Wainwright-Roche, David Byrne (who brought along current tour-mates Mark De Gli Antoni and Mauro Refosco), Jenni Muldaur (also on tour with Byrne), Janeane Garofalo (comedy bit/rant) and Teddy Thompson. As Rufus put it in the beginning, it was "like a campfire sing-a-long".

Some of the highlights included a group effort on the Roger Miller classic "King of the Road", Teddy Thompson covering ABBA's "Super Trooper" (which as he pointed out is an ode to an electric spotlight), David Byrne singing Webb Pierce's "There Stands the Glass", Rufus doing a solo guitar performance of "Beautiful Child" (with the audience filling in the chromatic rise and fall) plus an encore of "Hallelujah" with Rufus on piano.

Rufus played a benefit at Highline Ballroom one day earlier. David Byrne headlined two nights at Radio City Music Hall less than a week earlier, and has another show coming up at the NJ venue Rufus and Lucy played in mid-February. More BlackoutSabbath pictures below...

Blackout Sabbath

Blackout Sabbath

Blackout Sabbath

Blackout Sabbath

Blackout Sabbath

Blackout Sabbath

Blackout Sabbath

Blackout Sabbath

Blackout Sabbath

Blackout Sabbath

Blackout Sabbath

Blackout Sabbath

Blackout Sabbath

Blackout Sabbath

Blackout Sabbath

Blackout Sabbath

Blackout Sabbath

Blackout Sabbath

Blackout Sabbath



Comments (21)


Posted by Anonymous | March 12, 2009 12:08 AM

great photos.

Posted by ryan | March 12, 2009 12:24 AM

I lol'd at maturity of comment 1.

Posted by Anonymous | March 12, 2009 12:25 AM

Ditto on the great photos.

Posted by Cuse | March 12, 2009 12:50 AM

Nice set. Photo 8 gets a big wow.


Posted by Tim | March 12, 2009 2:08 AM

Amazing photos. Well done!

Posted by Anonymous | March 12, 2009 2:30 AM

this venue is embarrassing

Posted by Anonymous | March 12, 2009 6:11 AM

were people able to hear this time?

is that al maysles in the last photo? was he filming again? he filmed the last show but i never knew what became of it. i was hoping to watch it somewhere, somehow so i could hear & see what I couldn't catch (which was just about everything!).

Posted by Anonymous | March 12, 2009 8:33 AM

sweet, i'm in the 4th photo

Posted by Anonymous | March 12, 2009 8:36 AM

Now that Obama's in office, is it ok to admit that Janeane Garofalo just isn't that funny?

Posted by Anonymous | March 12, 2009 8:39 AM

What events ISN'T david byrne a part of now???

Posted by Anonymous | March 12, 2009 9:32 AM

City Winery did not shut their machines off so there was a dull humming by the bar throughout the entire concert BOOOOO HISSSSS! Also, they kept turning the lights on and off which uses MORE electricity, also, those kids talking about Obama made me want jump out a window because it went on way too long.

Posted by boo hiss | March 12, 2009 10:55 AM

Rufus? Seems more like a doofus.

Posted by Anonymous | March 12, 2009 11:32 AM

wow... rhyming Rufus and doofus, Shakespeare's got nothing on you!

Anyways, for those who can read above a 3rd grade level.
This was a great show, thanks for the fantastic pics due to the low light it was hard for to get any decent ones.
Most of us could hear just fine, people in the standing room only area way at the back were bitching that they couldn't hear; often yelling out for the performers to speak up which was actually probably more annoying than the inability to hear.

But I think they only had problems hearing the talking not the singing. No Wainwrights and certainly not Jenni Muldaur or Teddy have any problem projecting their beautiful voices.

I have to agree with the author and the other comment, the speakers were kinda... an unwelcome lull in the momentum of the show. If they'd cut their comments shorter and not belabored their points over and over perhaps I wouldn't have felt bored and slightly irritated.

Posted by Anonymous | March 12, 2009 1:15 PM

the girl in the pink skirt has fantastic ta-ta's

Posted by boob | March 12, 2009 3:08 PM

Would be good if they did something like this in the UK as I don't think I'll be in NYC anytime soon. As for Rufus being a doofus seems quite fitting especially considering he doesn't seem to take himself too seriously.

Posted by Anonymous | March 12, 2009 4:34 PM

Oh! Rufus did an acoustic version of Beautiful Child and I missed it???????????
I wish I didn't live in Taipei at the mo.

What an amazing night this must have been.

Note to all who leave nasty comments: Life is too short to waste precious energy writing hateful/inane nonsense.
Watch out for Instant Karma babes.

I LOVE YOU MR. W - and your wonderful family and friends too.
You rock like no other.

(fan since 1996 when I saw you OPEN for MARTHA in Montreal!!!).

Posted by Sue D | March 13, 2009 3:48 AM

I missed out on a great show. I'll make sure I don't make the same mistake next year....

Posted by Mitch | March 13, 2009 1:05 PM

No, your (sic) gay Anonymous...

Anyway, were any videos taken, or was it disallowed? I wish I could have been there. :(

Posted by meep | March 14, 2009 6:46 AM

You are wonderful my friend
Thank you for this topic

Posted by بنت الكويت | October 23, 2009 3:24 AM

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