As you may have noticed, Conchita Wurst seems to have taken over Leo Sigh even more than normal in the last week and a bit. Not surprising really. Not when you consider I’m currently in Vienna, Austria on a holiday/business trip and so don’t have time to write much, and that I actually met the lovely Ms. Wurst for the first time on Monday.
But today, a Conchita Wurst performance is appearing on Leo Sigh as my Repeat Rotation Video, and there is a very good reason for it, (other than the fact that I’m heading back to Bangkok tomorrow, so this is the last one you’ll get for a while).
Because I’m featuring her live performance of ‘Put That Fire Out‘, one of the two songs she sang at the ‘Voices For Refugees‘ concert in Vienna last weekend. A concert I attended. It was the first time I ever saw her sing live. And I was literally a few feet away from her.
But it’s not for these reasons why I’m watching Conchita Wurst singing ‘Put That Fire Out‘ live over and over again today.
Instead, it’s the absolute power emanating from Ms. Wurst during this performance, the intense emotion she herself is completely wrapped up in, and the feeling that, when you watch her sing this, you just know this woman is going to be one of the most important people on the planet.
Because watch her from the minute she starts (well, honestly, watch the video of her entire performance, as it is all spectacular), when she’s standing waiting for her cue to begin singing. As, if you quiet your mind, and try to pick up the emotion coming from her, you can feel what she’s feeling inside. And it will give you goosebumps.
Then, she begins to sing. And you realize quickly, every word of ‘Put That Fire Out‘, a song not written for this occasion, is appropriate for just this moment. The moment when so many in Austria stood there that night and, just with their presence, said “Enough. We’re tired of the bigots, the racists and the hysterics screaming about refugees destroying our country. Refugees are welcome. And we’ll tell the world they are”.
And, as she starts to sing, you can tell this is a big moment for her. A big moment where she stands on a stage, watched by so many, and through her music tells them exactly where she stands.
On the right side of history. The side that will always fight for acceptance, respect and love — no matter how much the bigots scream their hate.
“Here we are
Whether we’re near or far
Always rely on us
To fight for your cause accepting no loss
Soon you’ll see
Never alone you’ll be
We have the right to speak
But we will sing and we will dance
If they tell us to put that fire out”
And just watch how she does it. Nothing flamboyant. Nothing loud or screaming or trying to get attention for herself above and beyond everything else. Because that’s not what’s important to her.
Instead, she is quiet and calm, but absolutely radiating power, and insistent on showing you exactly what her beliefs are.
Her beliefs that it doesn’t matter who you are, or where you come from, what color your skin, what religion you belong to or what your sexual orientation is, you should always always always be treated like everyone else.
As for ‘Put That Fire Out‘, it’s not just perfect for ‘Voices for Refugees‘, it’s also a perfect anthem for Conchita Wurst as well. An anthem that tells the world, no matter who she becomes or what she achieves, she will always use the platform she feels privileged to have to stand up for those who are not always able to stand up for themselves.
And sure, when I stood in that audience watching her, so close I could see every emotion on her face, it was an emotional moment for me. After all, I had waited a year and a half to see her so close.
But, let me tell you, it was also an emotional moment for the rest of the audience as, even in their 100,000-plus midst, you could literally have heard a pin drop.
And, whether Conchita Wurst herself realizes it or not (and I just met her, and I’ll guarantee you she doesn’t because, when told how she affects people’s lives, she says “and I don’t understand it, because it’s just me“), when she sings this way, with this kind of power, with this kind of raw emotion and with history on her side, she could move mountains because many of those people in that audience would help move them right along with her.
Now watch Conchita Wurst singing ‘Put That Fire Out‘ live at the ‘Voices for Refugees‘ concert in the video below.
It is one of her best performances, not because she is technically perfect (she isn’t, and she never is when she sings a song for the first time live) but because watch her face, and particularly watch her when she has finished singing. Because that kind of raw emotion? It changes the world.
And, mark my words, that is exactly what this spectacular woman is going to do. Just give her time.
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- Listen to Charly Bliss’s ‘Heaven’ from Dickinson, Season 2, Episode 10, “You cannot put a fire out” - February 27, 2021