Wainwright to headline first A&O concert of year

A&O Productions announced Tuesday that singer/songwriter Rufus Wainwright will be the headliner for its first concert of the year. The show is scheduled for 8 p.m. on Oct. 14 at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall.

Tickets to the show will be available for $7 at the Norris University Center box office beginning Friday at 10:30 a.m.

Described by Sir Elton John as an “as-yet unheralded American treasure,” Wainwright kicks off his four-stop North American tour in Iowa City, Iowa, on Oct. 8 before coming to Evanston. He will then embark on a five-week European tour.

“I’ve heard (Wainwright is) amazing in concert,” said Erin Sprague, a Communication sophomore.

Sprague said she was surprised A&O was able to book such a popular musician for the show.

“I’ve never seen him before so I’m excited for the opportunity to see him for a really affordable price,” she added.

Wainwright released his most recent album, called “Want One,” in 2003, with the follow-up “Want Two” to released on Nov. 16. The new album will include a DVD featuring performances of 20 songs from the two albums at San Francisco’s Fillmore Auditorium.

Wainwright also will make his big-screen debut with a small role in Martin Scorsese’s upcoming film “The Aviator,” which chronicles the life of Howard Hughes, who is being played by Leonardo DiCaprio.

The Web site of singer/songwriter Ben Lee listed him as the opening act for the concert. But A&O President Brian Bockrath, a McCormick senior said that the opening act had not been finalized, saying only that there is a “special guest.”

Other musical artists recently brought to Northwestern by A&O include: The Roots, Mos Def, Zwan, Queens of the Stone Age, Jurassic 5, Wilco, Ben Folds and Duncan Sheik.

Weinberg freshman Lucy Hill said that because few concerts come to her hometown, she was excited to have a chance to see one of her favorite artists at NU.

Wainwright also will perform in a solo concert at the Vic Theatre in Chicago on Oct. 13.

— Tristan Arnold