Well, like I said we were treated to some really good tuna Wednesday night. It was super fresh and cooked really well, as in not too well. Marion and I enjoyed a couple martinis before and during our meal. Ice cold vodka goes good with seared tuna, you should try it sometime. We then meet up with a couple of friends who were headed to the Saenger Theater as well. One more ice cold vodka and we’re off, ready to see Tom Waits strut his stuff.
And that’s exactly what he did. For about 2 hours he twisted and turned, flapped his arms as if trying to fly, stood on one foot doing weird ballet moves, all the while belting out tunes in his slackjaw, down to his kneebone, rusty old voice. It was great and it was just what the people wanted to see and hear. Every move, every comment, every jester received applause. He told jokes, played the guitar and the piano. The complete package.
The stage setting was beautiful. There were random lights of different colors all about the stage. Large square boxes with 15 or 20 lights, row after row. The middle back drop was a long curtain that took on what ever color light was spotted on it and it looked like heavy velvet, about 20 feet tall. Red and blue were the two colors used the most and the red light made it look like an old whore house. A nice antique whore house with a red glow. It was real nice.
The show in Mobile was about the same as the show in Atlanta three nights later. It was proceeded by a really good meal also, more on that soon. In Mobile we sat on the 11th row, but were as far to the right as you could get, not bad seats at all just couldn’t see the horn blower or the piano player much at all. In Atlanta we were smack in the middle, about 35 rows back. I think he played four songs in Atlanta he did not play in Mobile. The set up was the same as in Mobile, except Larry Taylor played lead guitar on two songs. Mr. Waits also played a very small keyboard that was old and he looked huge sitting behind it. It sounded as if it was metal striking metal.
These are some of the songs he played. Make it rain, chocolate jesus, lucinda, down in the hole, cemetery polka, lucky day and lot’s of others. The band was really tight. Waits had described them as having race car precision, but I thought it was more like, subway under your feet in NYC precision. They were like a train, sometimes they went fast and sometimes they went slow. His son plays the drums for him and the saxophone guy played two horns at one time, more then once. The guitarist was the best. He made an unreal range of sounds come from his guitar and he played the banjo and other string stuff as well. Sitting in the middle made a big difference as far as visuals went. Being way to the side you didn’t get the effect of a main character, in the middle of the stage playing to the room. You really got the feel it was a theatrical event from sitting up and looking down at the stage and being in the middle. It was almost vaudeville like, the complete package.
One of our friends videoed just about the whole show and she has put a lot of the songs on you tube at this address http://www.youtube.com/user/Imbamalee. Go there and scroll down a little, you can’t miss em.