Yes … She Is among Us

I walked outside The Cedar to wait for my ride after the Wendy Rule show last Wednesday night, when a group of passing guys stopped and one said, “I ‘aint neva’ seen no ass like that on a white girl befo’.” I expected them to break out into song and dance around me like Chris Brown in his music videos, but luck wasn’t with me, as it hadn’t been earlier that night. Holding back my laughter, and any possible sass-backs, I tried to conjure up some kind of protective force, and my brother soon rounded the corner. “Yeah, well, I bet you neva’ seen no witch in a tutu befo’, either.”

There had been nothing at all typical about my experience that evening. I had stood at the wrong bus stop for 30 minutes. I had unknowingly gotten directions from a deaf man. And I had ended up in St. Paul—the wrong city—on a bus with a driver at the end of his shift.

Luckily, before going home, the driver gave me a ride to my stop. I walked some blocks in my five-inch tall boots, stopping into two bars to ask for directions, and finally arrived at The Cedar an hour and a half late.

I was sitting by the door, listening to the opening act, when a lady beside me threw me a smile. This was the coolest looking chick in the house — wearing a black tutu, boots, bustier, and a red blouse. It was bewitching sensation Wendy Rule.

Having started her career in music many years ago, as a jazz vocalist, Rule has since gained notoriety for her amazingly broad vocal range, her visionary lyrics, and her use of ritual in her performances.

As I waited for Rule to go on, I noticed a wide variety of audience members: a man resembling a lumberjack, a suburban housewife, geeky Goth kids who reminded me of a distant generation from The Smith days. Everyone was present — eager and excited.

The presenter finally came on, with his plastic hair, kilt, and boots, and aptly introduced Australia’s own ubiquitous witch: “Yes … she is among us.” Everyone applauded and roared while Rule took the stage. With all eyes on her, she dusted a thick powder into the air with a fan while singing melodies and calling out to the East. She even evoked the energies of Earth, Air, Water, and Fire; and I waited for Captain Planet to fly in.

As she grabbed her acoustic guitar and began to sing, Rule embodied the ideal witch with all her power, seductiveness, sex appeal, articulation, intelligence, and musical capabilities. With cute stories of kangaroo chasing, songs for ex-lovers, and references to the Australian Wolf Sky — topped off with charm and charisma — this was definitely the sweetest witch ever.

To top off the evening — and cement her good-witch status — Rule ended her performance with a spell to help audience members move forward in life. She asked we consider this for a moment and seek help from the four energies. The crowd eagerly responded with foot stomping, which further excited Rule and extended her ritual. She said she felt a great heart connection to the Americas and loved coming here, and this reaction from the audience confirmed her feelings. Of course, I — having irresponsibly evoked a recent lot of misfortune — tried hard to deny my skepticism and avail myself of the moment. I almost walked up to the stage and asked her to lay hands on me.

Despite how my night had unraveled, the show did not let me down. Rule’s voice sounded beautiful, and the performance was great. The audience awarded her with a standing ovation and zealous applause. Some left wanting to dress like her, be like her, or sleep with her, but everyone definitely left loving her — the siren-songed witch in the tutu.