Review: Conchita Wurst at MuTH in Vienna — Fourth Concert on Her ‘Conchita Live mit Band’ tour — Stunningly Beautiful

If you read my review of Conchita Wurst’s first concert of her ‘Conchita Live mit Band‘ concert tour, held at Porgy and Bess in Vienna last week, and you didn’t read between the lines, you probably thought it was a close to perfect experience. For many in the audience, yes. For me? Nowhere close.

In fact, while I did enjoy much of it, I left Conchita’s first ever full length concert feeling absolutely no connection to the singer at all and, frankly, questioning why I was moving to Vienna to be closer to her. Strange, when you consider I’ve written over 450 articles about the Austrian singer, and been practically hanging on her every breath for almost two years.

In retrospect, and after attending last night’s Conchita Wurst concert, the fourth concert on her tour, there were several factors why.

Porgy and Bess was a too cramped, too small venue, for a band that was often too loud, overshadowing Conchita’s voice at various times during the evening.

She was nervous when she first arrived on stage, and it took her a good half hour to settle into her performance (‘Pure‘ was where it started to resonate for me). Although superb at covering them, she made several mistakes, and the entire event, to me, while beautifully put together, did not flow as well as it could have done. As for my lack of connection with her? Couldn’t tell you. But I didn’t have one.

Did I write this in my review the morning after? Of course not. Because that is my problem with Conchita Wurst. While I would be more than comfortable to tell her to her face what I really think, on the Internet, I’m more careful. Because things can be misconstrued, and feelings can be hurt. My feelings, I couldn’t care less about. Her feelings? I worry.

Fast forward to this morning. The day after I saw Conchita’s fourth concert in her ‘Conchita Live mit Band‘ series, held at MuTH in Vienna.

A much larger venue, with better acoustics, a band that, although still too loud in places, had settled into being one of the best backing bands I’ve ever heard and a singer, Conchita, who, since last week, had finally caught her stride.

In fact, from the moment she arrived on stage, walking slowly and dramatically to the opening music to ‘(Where Do I Begin’) Love Story‘, she was mesmerizing.

Calm and absolutely on point, she was less rushed than during her first concert and far more focused. She was also ‘high diva’, completely embodying the character she plays on stage.

And what that did was allow the drama and the magnetism she normally shows in short performances to come to the front. So much so that, no longer was she the faux-superstar she was pretending to be last week, but still all giggly boy underneath.

This time she was the real deal.

conchita wurst at MuTH Vienna

Conchita Wurst at MuTH in Vienna — in the midst of the audience answering fans’ questions.

The concert, of course, followed the same format as all the others on her tour. Opening with ‘Love Story‘ and going almost immediately into ‘Goldfinger‘, a song young Tom Neuwirth sang on the Starmania final¬†(read my comments on that here), when he was just 17.

A song that worked back then, as Neuwirth always was amazingly talented, but that worked beyond compare last night, as it really does need a diva to do it justice.

Then the first of her ‘stories’ started, with an explanation about her Sydney Opera House performance, and meeting Ricky Martin, which was obviously funny if you understood German.

From there, Conchita moved on into ‘Where Have All The Good Men Gone‘, more stories, more cover songs (Cher’s ‘Believe‘, Celine Dion’s ‘My Heart Will Go On‘), and then to the song that, I believe, is where her concert really becomes unforgettable.

Her performance of ‘Pure‘, which is not only the first time she has sung this song live, but it has been arranged in such a way that it keeps the sadness and heart-wrenching feel of the original album track, but with the fabulous addition of a slow rock ending that is just gorgeous.

And her performance, of course, is vulnerability personified. Beautiful. Just beautiful.

What was also interesting to me here was, unlike at many other concerts where the audience insists on singing along, at Conchita’s MuTH concert you could have heard an angel sigh as she sang, and particularly with ‘Pure‘.


Other notable songs during the 90-minute concert were Conchita’s cover of Tina Turner’s ‘River Deep, Mountain High‘, which if you think she performed fabulously in Poland, wait till you see her do it live. Because she is rock chick beyond anything you have ever seen, even complete with head bangs.

And it’s here too, I saw an enormous difference in what she is doing now compared to Conchita on stage a year ago. Then she was stiff, uncomfortable and too worried about portraying a ‘diva’. Now she is a diva, doesn’t care what she looks like, inhabits every single song she sings and, God, she’s beautiful.

Out of Body Experience‘ starts with a long New Age-y instrumental introduction which is worth it to see just how sensual she is while doing nothing more than sitting on a stool, one stilettoed leg elongated like a stretching cat, eyes closed, head held back, lips slightly parted. Weren’t sexually attracted to her before? You will be now.

Then throw in the anthem, “You Are Unstoppable, which she has had arranged with much more of an emphasis on the idea of ‘You are unstoppable’ so it really speaks to her fans, and you could not possibly leave this concert without feeling less than empowered and more in love with her than ever.

But the highlight of the concert for me? ¬†Conchita’s incredibly moving ‘Other Side of Me¬†sung with just a piano accompaniment.¬†The song that was written for her right after her Eurovision win, and one she has said she had problems singing for a long time without breaking down into tears.

And last night, even though some of the quieter falsetto moments are still difficult for her to hit perfectly (boy, remember), it doesn’t matter. Because the voice breaks and the slightly flat notes they cause fit so perfectly with the song they hit your heart like a knife. So much so, this was the one song I was actually biting my lip almost through to prevent from breaking down.

My only teeny tiny complaint of this whole concert? A couple of times when she does a very affected, overly feminine, too dramatic gesture to add impact (see last few seconds of this, where she bites her lip and looks away), as all it does is take away from the real emotion of the song. For me, it’s far too ‘drag queen’, and as she surpassed drag queen several light years ago to become nothing less than Conchita Wurst Superstar, the emphasis still on that I found jarring.

As for the entire fourth concert in Conchita’s ‘Conchita Live mit band‘ concert series? It was the best thing I’ve seen her do. Ever. From hundreds of performances, a Eurovision win, a European Parliament performance, a Conchita in latex dripping sweat in Cologne, a duet with Shirley Bassey and ‘Diamonds are Forever‘ and on and on, this 90-minute performance was a tour de force from someone who is at the absolute top of her game and, yet, destined to still get even better.

Sadly, although she does have eight more concerts in her first concert tour, if you do not already have tickets, they are all sold out, so your chances of seeing her in this glorious event are slim to none. Do look out for the videos popping up all over YouTube, however, as you’ll get a glimpse of what you could have experienced had you bought tickets.

Meanwhile, watch her in last night’s performance of ‘Pure‘ in the video below. That. It’s sheer perfection.

 

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