A Rufus-Retro-Wainwright-Spective!

Earlier this year, Grammy Award-nominated singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright announced his Rufus-Retro-Wainwright-Spective! a virtual livestream tour through all nine of the acclaimed musician’s groundbreaking studio albums.

Australian and New Zealand audiences can tune in from Saturday 7 November, to catch the iconic performer deliver his albums Want One and Want Two live from his LA home, with band members Brian Green on guitars and Jacob Mann on piano and keyboard.

Tickets for individual shows are $20 USD in advance, or $25 USD day of show, with four-show bundles also available for purchase. Bundles come with the opportunity for fans to participate in intimate Q&A’s with Wainwright, along with other surprises.

All livestreams will be available for viewing for a month after they take place.

Tickets are available here.

In May, Rufus Wainwright was on the forefront of live streaming with his IGTV Quarantunes Robe Recital series, where each day he performed a song a day while playing in his bathrobe at his home. In June, he upped the production with a performance of his new album Unfollow The Rules in a session at the old Hollywood Paramour mansion.

Now with Rufus-Retro-Spective he takes it a step further, playing 45-minute concerts highlighting albums from his illustrious catalogue, treating fans to songs he has not played in many years, some with exciting new arrangements. On top of the songs from the albums, Wainwright will sprinkle in cover songs that fans can vote from over 100 that he has performed in the past or has always wanted to perform in concert.

Says Wainwright of this exciting virtual tour —

“Special times need special artistic ideas. They also need leadership and unity, but we are far from that here in the US. So we as musicians, can give the world our voice, to offer reflection and vision at the same time. I cannot tour my new album Unfollow The Rules which is why I have had ample time to reflect. I consider Unfollow The Rules a bookend to my first album, both were recorded and produced in Los Angeles, in a lot of the same studios and with a lot of the same session musicians. I consider Unfollow The Rules my first album of maturity as a songwriter, following in the footsteps of the greats a lot of them have left us already or will very soon. So, it’s time to look back to look forward. I’m excited for fans to join me on my trip into the past and on this virtual world tour of my entire studio album catalogue.”

Stay tuned for more dates to be announced soon, for December onwards.


Saturday 7 November, 9am AEDT // 11am NZDT
Want One: From “Oh What a World” to “Vibrate”

My youth is coming to an eclipse on the “Want” albums and so is my addiction to alcohol and drugs. I think I was transferred to another label within the Universal family at this point and the albums really didn’t do much in Europe. We then hired the fabulous Barbara Charone to do my press in Europe and got the label to re-release the two albums in the UK and it really launched me in the UK. These tours were a blast and a bit of a blurr. I think “Go or Go Ahead” is probably the most epic song I have ever written or recorded and I am really curious how we are going to do it in our living room.

Saturday 14 November, 9am AEDT // 11am NZDT
Want One: From “14th Street” to “Dinner at Eight”

Working with Marius de Vries on these albums was a pure joy. Our motto seems to have been: If we can make it lush, why don’t we make it lusher? These songs are like indigenous rainforests, you can get lost in them. The songs are very much about my experience around the time that I wrote them but there is a universal meaning in them as well which I think will become clearer during these shows. Everyone has had a “Natasha” as a friend who finds herself on the precipice of life, every child has anxieties about growing up and feels a “want” to live up to your idols or everyone who is the child of divorced parents knows that a family “Dinner at Eight” will never be the same. When David Bowie called that song the best song written about a father and son relationship, I was incredibly proud. Even when I was young, I always felt a little bit old at the same time and these songs really express that feeling to me.

Saturday 21 November, 9am AEDT // 11am NZDT

Want Two: From “Agnus Dei” to “Hometown Waltz”

“Want Two” is really one gigantic b-side to Want One. It is even more free, more experimental than “Want One” I feel. If “Want One” is like a rainforest, this is a Rosetti painting of a rainforest with a “Peach Tree” added for color. I am not sure what I was thinking when I wrote Agnus Dei but I probably had a premonition that something fundamental might collapse in my life, that things cannot go on like this forever and that we needed a prayer to save us.

Saturday 28 November, 9am AEDT // 11am NZDT
Want Two: From “This Love Affair” to “Old Whore’s Diet”

Touring the “Want” albums was incredible. I got crucified, not by the press or audience, but by my fellow bandmembers on stage during “Old Whore’s Diet” and we stripped. At the end of the tour I had a boyfriend who is now my husband. It pays to advertise and all these songs really are unabashedly about me and pouring out all my emotions and desires. “Discretion I’m hardly known for” I sing on “Crumb by Crumb”, a song I have not performed live in probably over a decade. I am still that person but I am also not.  I look forward to putting on the cloak of these songs again and feeling like being in my twenties again.