Stories » Rufus Wainwright is masterful at the Melbourne zoo / brisbane times

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Rufus Wainwright is masterful at the Melbourne zoo / brisbane times

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It's hard to imagine a better setting to listen to music than inside Melbourne Zoo at dusk on an idyllic late-summer Saturday evening. Families of all shapes and sizes spread out picnic rugs and tucked in to wedges of cheese and containers of dips while enjoying a thoroughly civilised night of chilled contemporary pop. The Zoo Twilights series - which has so far featured mostly Aussie acts such as The Cat Empire and Client Liaison - is a fundraiser to help Zoos Victoria save the Eastern Barred Bandicoot from extinction.

Proceedings opened with the soothing synth sounds of Rachel Eckroth and moved swiftly into a energised set from Mojo Juju, who gave the night a political edge with songs about offshore detention, her indigenous heritage, and Peter Dutton. Yet the stage was very much set for NYC-born Canadian pop folk star Rufus Wainwright, who commanded the audience for well over two hours. It's been 20 years since Wainwright, 45, released his self-titled debut, followed by mainstream breakthrough Poses in 2001. Clad in a magician's top-hat and a series of glittering outfits, Wainwright had a masterful control of his voice.

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