Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Show Review - Tom Waits, Knoxville, TN

We got to Knoxville pretty late on Saturday night, but were able to spend Sunday exploring a bit. I decided after my few trips to Georgia and Tennessee over the last year that I love the South. I wish I could just insert "y'all" into my vocabulary. Everyone is super nice, especially the ladies at Yeehaw Industries. They let me explore their printing studio during the day and then said hi to me again at the show that night.

Tom and his band played for about 2 and a half hours. Those 150 minutes were completely worth the 16 hours I spent in the car knitting a sock. Both of his sons were on stage with him, one on the drums and the other as the "assistant clarinetist". There was one moment where he was hunched over the microphone and son was hunched over the drums - and they formed the same silhouette simultaneously. The guy he had on horns and harmonica really stood out as a fantastic musician, too.

Tom Mr. Waits (I feel weird calling him Tom) had at his disposal all these wonderful props. He was up on this little platform outlined by multicolored lightbulbs, like a true showman. He had a thick layer of dust at his feet that he stomped into the view of the stage lights. He had a huge bell, like from an old boxing match, that was rigged up to a bass drum pedal. He sang into a megaphone as if it were a trumpet and turned his hat into its mute. He pointed up to the ceiling, waved his arms and growled until he couldn't growl anymore.

Then he sat down at the piano. He told us everything he knew about buzzards and played "On the Nickel". The nice Knoxville man next to me ("born and bred!") said "I hope you don't mind if I cry" and shoved his binoculars into my hands. His name was Ian, and he kept his cell phone in his sock. "Innocent When You Dream" was the last one on the piano, and the whole audience sang along to the chorus.

Back on his multicolored platform, a single lightbulb came down over his head for my favorite part of the show: a reading of "9th and Hennepin". He switched his usual hat for one covered in mirrors for "Eyeball Kid", spinning around under the spotlight like a disco ball. The last song before the encore was "Make It Rain", complete with a small thunderstorm of glitter.

Here's my best shot at a setlist. There's no way this is in the right order, and I can't remember which 2 songs he did for the encore. In fact, I'm sure I missing quite a few songs here. If anyone out there wants to help out with this, drop me a line in the comments. EDIT: Many thanks to Kevin over at Tounge-Tied Lightning for the correct setlist. You can find his show review here.

Lucinda/Ain't Goin Down to the Well
Way Down in the Hole
Falling Down
Hang Down Your Head
Chocolate Jesus
God's Away on Business
Get Behind the Mule
Metropolitan Glide
Trampled Rose
Cold Cold Ground
The Part You Throw Away
Black Market Baby
Rain Dogs/Russian Dance
On the Nickel
Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis
You Can Never Hold Back Spring
Lucky Day
Innocent When You Dream
9th and Hennepin
Lie to Me
Jesus Gonna Be Here
House Where Nobody Lives
Eyeball Kid
Make It Rain

Fannin Street
Come On Up to the House

Unfortunately, cameras weren't allowed and I didn't want to risk having to walk all the way back to the hotel if they found me out. Luckily, Muzzle of Bees got some great photos of the Jacksonville show that you should definitely check out. Instead, watch this video of Mr. Waits on Conan O'Brien, stomping at his stagedust.

1 comment:

bigshoulders said...

Hi Christina,
I just got around to reading your review of Knoxville. By all means, you are welcome to swipe the set list that I have. I ended up going to three diff. stops of the Glitter and Doom... and I have to say that Knoxville was my favorite of all of them. But each show had its own special moments... no doubt about that.


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