Rufus Wainwright Kicks Off Tour, Explains Video Cameos

After spending the last year opening for artists like Sean Lennon and Barenaked Ladies, Rufus Wainwright kicked off his first tour as a headlining act last night in Hoboken, New Jersey.

A complex pop stylist whose music draws on influences from opera and George Gershwin standards to folk music and jazz, Wainwright has been a critics' darling since the release of his self-titled debut last April. Cited as "best new artist" by Rolling Stone magazine and as having one of the year's top CD's in the Village Voice 1998 "Pazz & Jop" critics poll, Wainwright is not content to rest on his accolades and vows to "pulverize" his audience during his live show.

The first video from the album, "April Fools," [28.8 RealVideo] features Wainwright walking the streets of modern day Los Angeles amidst a clique of classic opera characters (Madame Butterfly, etc), trying to stop each of them from committing

their

famous suicide but finding each of them just a moment too late. The clip features cameos by No Doubt's Gwen Stefani and something more than a high school acquaintance according to Wainright--Hole bassist Melissa Auf Der Maur.

"I grew up with Melissa, in Montreal," Wainwright said. "We went to high school together, we were actually in love, when we were young, but we never consummated, we were always too shy to get together. But I thought she was fascinating when I was a kid and I still think she's fascinating. So that was that connection,. We lived together for a long time in L.A. right before we made the video, and Gwen (Stefani) was friends with the director Sophie Mueller, and Gwen very graciously let us use her house, that's her house that it's filmed in, just cuz, whatever, she's a sweet, sweet girl." [28.8 RealVideo]

Wainwright's tour continues through the end of April before

heading to Europe. No definite plans for the next video yet, because, as Wainwright says, "it's not a single driven album."

If you'd like to see Wainwright live, here are his remaining tour dates:

  • March 2 - Albany, NY @ Valentine's
  • March 3 - New York, NY @ Supperclub
  • March 5 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Rosebud
  • March 8 - Ottawa, Ontario @ Barrymore's Music Hall
  • March 9 - Toronto, Ontario @ Trinity Centre
  • March 10 - Montreal, Quebec @ Theatre L'Olympia
  • March 12 - Boston, MA @ The Paradise
  • March 13 - Providence, RI @ The Met Café
  • March 14 - Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
  • March 16 - Baltimore, MD @ Fletcher's
  • March 17 - Philadelphia, PA @ Theatre of Living Arts
  • March 20 - Nashville, TN @ 328 Performance Hall
  • March 21 - Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playhouse
  • March 23 - Cincinnati, OH @ Bogart's
  • March 27 - Chicago, IL @ Park West
  • March 28 - Pontiac, MI@ 7th House