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Conchita’s ‘Walk away’ (Hommage an Udo Jürgens) — Conchita WURST’s Top 40 Best Live Performances (#28)

(#28) — Conchita performs ‘Walk Away’ at Hommage an Udo Jürgens

It gets increasingly difficult to choose Conchita WURST’s Top 40 Best Live Performances as you get nearer to number one. Although, frankly, it is difficult to decide where to place any of them.

That’s because, since Conchita’s Eurovision win, she has not given a bad performance. Not one.

Sure, there are some live performances of songs where she doesn’t quite hit the notes she would like to hit, and others where she forgets the lyrics.

Overall though, Conchita WURST is such a quintessential professional you never see the abysmal performances other artists seem nonchalant about giving.

One of Conchita’s best live performances, however, is one she gave at a concert back in December, 2015 called Hommage an Udo Jürgens.

It was an event to benefit the Austrian charity Licht ins Dunkel, and Conchita sang Udo Jürgens’ own Eurovision song ‘Walk Away’. 

And it was a performance that was not just striking for her superb rendition of the song, but also for how she looked and for the social importance of the event. (You’ll find the original article I wrote about her performance that night, and why it was so good, here).

Conchita’s live performance of Udo JürgensWalk Away

Conchita’s version of Jürgens’ ‘Walk Away‘ was stunning. Ending as it did with those incredibly strong high notes she has now become known for almost effortlessly producing.

It was also lovely as her whole performance, demeanor and the way she looked was so elegant and chic.

And the tight-fitting pants she wore showed off Europe’s best ass to perfection. (Well, they did!!)

The conservative nature of Austria — and why Conchita performances like this are so important

Austria is a country that is very uptight. In its conservative beliefs, its support of conservative arts and artists, and its judgmental nature about many things that don’t fit the ‘accepted’.

If you are Austrian and have lived anywhere else, or if you are non-Austrian and moved here, you may know what I mean about the atmosphere of much of Austria.

It’s stuffy, it’s judgmental and it is a bit too far up its own ass in many respects. (And don’t get me wrong. I like the country and I like most Austrians I’ve met. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be living here. But it is one of the few things that grates on my nerves about the culture).

This judgmental nature, and of Austria still resting on its laurels of once upon a time ‘owning an empire’ and wanting to pretend it still does, leaks over into which artists are successful in Austria, and which are not.

If you perform classical music, if you produce schlager, are an ultra-conservative pop singer, or a watered-down version of a rap artist or a hip hop singer without any elements that might ‘offend people’, you’ll probably do well in the Austrian music scene.

If you’re not, chances are you won’t.

This prevailing ultra-conservative atmosphere in Austria is why Conchita WURST struggled to do well here for many years. Not until she won the Eurovision Song Contest for Austria and then she ‘had to be taken seriously’.

But even now, five years after her Eurovision win, Conchita still struggles to be accepted by a huge percentage of Austrians, who still don’t understand what a massive talent they have in this incredible artist.

Because all they see in their 1950s-style conservatism, is a guy in a dress. Or nowadays, a guy that shaved his head and wore a latex dress to an important ball and so ‘offended’ people. Oh and yeah, he’s gay.

In other words, someone who is too ‘not normal’ for their taste.

All of this still affects Conchita’s ability to get the massive fan base in Austria that she should have. Considering she is one of the best artists this country has produced in the 21st century.

That is why I think it is important Conchita is asked to perform at events like Hommage an Udo Jürgens. Events that are usually only watched by the most conservative of Austrians.

Because a performance like Conchita’s elegant and powerful ‘Walk Away‘ gives the ultra-conservatives in Austria just one more tiny piece of evidence, whether they like it or not, that this Austrian artist has more talent than most of the ‘more acceptable’ ones.

And my opinion on that is, even if they still walk away from a concert like Hommage an Udo Jürgens with that pre-conceived idea of who Conchita is and what she can do still stuck in their minds, there will always be that niggling bit of evidence to the contrary stored there.

And someday, hopefully, they’ll join the 21st century and change them.

Watch Conchita’s gorgeous live performance of ‘Walk Away’ at Hommage an Udo Jürgens in the video below.

NoteYou will find #40 to #29 on my Conchita WURST’s Top 40 Best Live Performances list here

Michelle Topham

Founder/CEO at Leo Sigh
I am a music journalist, a former radio DJ, a left-wing human rights advocate and the founder of Leo Sigh. I am also an avid video game player.
Michelle Topham