I have always liked the few stripped down, acoustic performances Conchita Wurst has given. They have been performances that really allow you to hear her phenomenal vocals, and to experience just how powerful is that voice.
But I especially enjoyed Conchita as WURST at Climate Kirtag in Vienna earlier this year.
An event held to draw attention to the world’s climate crisis, and one at which WURST gave an excellent acoustic performance of a couple of older songs and a new WURST offering — ‘To The Beat’.
A performance that now sits solidly on my Conchita WURST’s Top 40 Best Live Performances list at #27.
Because what stood out for me were his vocals during all three songs — but in particular during ‘To The Beat‘.
One of the new WURST songs he has struggled with in several live performances since these electro pop songs were released.
WURST singing Truth Over Magnitude tracks live
Now before you jump on me because I’m saying WURST’s live performances of his new songs have not consistently been as strong as his live versions of most of his older works, it’s true.
He has delivered live vocals for ‘To The Beat‘, ‘Hit Me‘ and ‘See Me Now‘ on several occasions that I guarantee you he was not happy with.
Because WURST (Tom Neuwirth) is harder on himself and his performances than I could ever be.
But…here’s the thing. And it’s why I love watching him live, and especially when he is performing songs that are new to the stage.
Because, invariably, his first few performances of a new song will be all over the place vocally. One time fabulous, the next time a struggle.
It’s as if it takes him a few live outings with a new song to be able to figure out how to deliver it on stage. But once he does, and he always does, he’s pretty much nailing it for life.
It was this way when he was Conchita, it’s the same now he’s WURST and, I presume, it will be just the same during his next incarnation.
WURST with ‘To The Beat‘ at Climate Kirtag then was in the middle of this “figuring out what the hell I need to do to deliver these songs in the way I know I can do” thing he seems to go through.
But, in this stripped down acoustic version, his vocals were superb.
He was also supremely relaxed throughout all three songs — and especially in his duet of ‘Heast as Net‘ with its original owner Hubert von Goisern.
In that duet, however, he was also quite shy and holding himself back with von Goisern, which was “awwwwww” to see. Especially the big grin he gave as he was about to hit that first yodel and he knew Hubert’s eyes and smile were on him.
Not surprising, though, as it must be intimidating to sing a song with not only the person that wrote it, but also with someone of such iconic stature as von Goisern holds in Austria.
WURST’s Climate Kirtag performance at #27 on Conchita WURST’s Top 40 Best Live Performances list
In other words, I have WURST’s performance at Climate Kirtag at #27 on my Conchita WURST’s Top 40 Best Live Performances list for these reasons:
His vocals are solid in all three songs, but especially solid during ‘To The Beat‘ — a song that is not easy to sing live at all. And it’s acoustic.
He is super relaxed and chill, he looks damned cool, he’s dancing and seems to be having fun.
And because, as a music journalist, it fascinates me to watch the artistic process someone at the high level Tom Neuwirth is at needs to work through with new songs, so he is eventually able to deliver a rock solid performance every time. And how hard he works to get there.
WURST’s Climate Kirtag performance wasn’t the one that cemented his mastering of these new songs. It was just a standalone ‘good one’, as there were a couple of shaky ones later.
But, by the time he hit the stage at Popfest in July, and again at Hafen Open Air a couple of weeks ago, it was obvious to me he has mastered them.
And not only mastered them, but is singing them like the powerhouse of talent that he is.
Watch WURST’s performance at Climate Kirtag in the three videos scattered through the article. And, while you’re at it, notice just how relaxed and happy he looks.
Now isn’t that what you always wish for him? I know I do.
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