When will I become bored with Conchita Wurst? When she becomes a spoiled, arrogant, complaining diva. Thing is, I can tell you now that’s never going to happen. How do I know?
Because the fabulous Conchita performed a 40-minute concert last Saturday night in Wagrain, Austria. A concert held outside, in -4°C weather (that’s around 25°F for we Americans), and one in which Conchita, despite the bitter cold, looked beyond ecstatic to be up on that stage.
No whining about the cold, no temper tantrums, no disappointing her fans. Instead, just as sweet, lovely and happy as she always is. And as grateful to have the opportunity to sing in front of a huge crowd of people as she has been since the day she won Eurovision. Even if it was freezing. Literally.
Of course, this being Conchita Wurst, it wasn’t just a case of her singing in Wagrain. It also included a fan meet and greet a few hours before the show. Because, that girl, even when she has TV interviews, sound checks and other commitments, she still loves to take the time to make her fans happy.
Just watch how she is as she arrives at the fan meet (thanks, Monika Müller, for the nice video). Delighted everyone is there. Moving quickly into the midst of the group to say ‘Hello’. Then breaking the ice with small talk and jokes. So lovely is she, you know every person in that room left just a little more in love with her than they were when they arrived.
As for Conchita’s performance at the Wagrain concert itself, she was one of just three acts that night — herself, Austria’s Tagträumer and Germany’s Sarah Connor.
But this was an interesting concert for other reasons too. Because it was an unusual event for Conchita, in a few ways.
First, it was easily the longest concert she has performed since before she won Eurovision as, normally, her live stage performances consist of three or four songs, and her TV appearances usually come in at one or two.
At Wagrain, however, Conchita performed for a straight 40 minutes and sang many of the songs she is now famous for — ‘Believe‘, ‘Unchain My Heart‘, ‘You Are Unstoppable‘, ‘Simply The Best’, ‘River Deep Mountain High‘, ‘Where Have All The Good Men Gone‘, ‘Rise Like a Phoenix‘, ‘My Heart Will Go On‘, and ‘Firestorm‘.
‘Rise Like a Phoenix‘ was the final song of her set, with ‘My Heart Will Go On‘ and ‘Firestorm‘ her two encores. Thing was, she didn’t actually go off the stage to be called back for encores. She just sang them.
Then again, it being as cold as a witch’s tit by that point, and Conchita having already stood there for 30 minutes, she was probably not wanting to waste any time going on and off stage, so just added them on to the end of her set.
After all, if you were stood high up on a stage, exposed to the elements all by yourself without any warming bodies around you, and every time you opened your mouth there was so much condensation you looked like you were on fire, you too would probably be wanting to get back into the warmth by then.
As for her performance, it was pretty damned spectacular.
Because when you sing in temperatures that cold, it can do some horrendous things to your voice, particularly when it comes to hitting those huge high notes she hits in most of the songs she sings.
But, other than a huskiness she had in the lower notes and when she was speaking (and no complaints from me, as it was sexy), having to work a bit harder to hit those higher notes in a couple of songs (she hit them anyway), and a slight harshness she had to her voice she doesn’t normally have (I thought it actually suited the frostiness of the occasion quite well), she didn’t seem to be struggling overly much.
Which says something about how much she must have been working for this concert. As, when I met her a couple of months ago, she told me she “was working hard on technique. Basically being able to sing for hours, without being exhausted”.
And if you watch her throughout this entire Wagrain performance while, sure, she’s probably tired by the end of it, she’s not visually showing it.
What is also gorgeous about Conchita at Wagrain is the way she now is on stage.
Far more relaxed, with no sign of the stiffness she used to have, completely working the entire stage, and with a delightful ease about her when she talks to the audience.
Because, honestly, her one weak point when up on stage has always been that she’s not good at ad libbing with the audience (which has always surprised me as she’s so good at small talk in person, and fabulous at it in a TV studio). But with her performance at Wagrain, it seems like she has finally figured out how to comfortably do it, as that right there was perfect.
Now watch Conchita Wurst’s 40-minute concert at Wagrain last weekend in the video below (thanks so much Friederike Worff for filming it), and enjoy it as much as I did (particularly that quirky little dance she does in the middle of ‘River Deep Mountain High‘, because that still makes me smile and smile).
Because this concert, it’s actually quite a huge thing for her. As it proves she does have the ability to not only put on a fabulous full show and sing superbly well (several people told me she was easily the best performer of the evening), but that she can also do it for a far longer time than we are used to seeing. Even while she was freezing the loveliest ass in Europe off.
Well done, Conchita. I could get used to this.