Water Mill, N.Y., August 28, 2010. What better place to spend a lazy Saturday afternoon than a picnic-style concert on the amazing grounds of Robert Wilson's Watermill Center. Rufus Wainright and his special guest, Kylie Minogue, Australian pop super-star made a great duo as they belted out a combination of pop hits and folk songs. The Last Song of Summer, the Third Annual Watermill BenefitConcert, raised approximately $200,000 for the Watermill Center’s year-round international artist residencies and education programs. Robert Wilson was unable to attend as he was in Poland working on his next project.
The sold out concert, with over 600 guests began with a set by Krystle Warren that included Central Park and Circles with Thomas Bartlett on piano. Rufus Wainwright took the stage next with a set that featured the following songs: Grey Gardens (dedicated to Kylie), Who are you New York from his latest studio album Songs for Lulu: All Days are Nights and Sonnet No. 20 from a collaboration with Watermill Center founder Robert Wilson. Rufus invited Kylie Minogue and a four piece band and full back up chorus to the stage next which they shared for Kylie's current single "All the Lovers", her older hit "Love At First Sight", Elton John's "Don’t Go Breaking My Heart", the Broadway classic If I Loved You from Roger & Hammerstein's Carrousel. As an encore they sang together Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" and "Can't get you out of My Head" which got the entire audience up on their feet and wildly dancing and applauding. Rufus closed with "Somewhere over the Rainbow" accompanied by his aunt Jane McGarrigle dedicated to his late mother, folk legend, Kate McGarrigle.
Many guests were seated picnic style on large custom made beach towels provided along with large black gift bags by Chanel.
Guests included: Anjelica Huston, Mark Ronson, Klaus Biesenbach, Stephen and Christine Schwarzman, Andrey Bartenev, Ron & Amy Guttman, Roger Ferris, Jackie Rogers, Beth Swofford and Lisa de Kooning along with event co-chairs Lisa Anastos, Valerie Boster, Martin Dawson, Amanda Hearst, Shamim M. Momin, Dalia Oberlander. Watermill's managing and creative director Jorn Weisbrodt was the afternoon's MC.
Musicians and Backup Singers: Brad Albetta, Thomas Bartlett, Oren Bredow, Shazad Ismaily, Jane McGarrigle, Anna McGarrigle, Lily Lanken. The piano was provided by Steinway & Sons.
DJ Rachel Chandler spun before and after the concert for the guests.
For the after concert backstage meet and greet champagne was provided by Moët & Chandon