Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Tom Waits — Knoxville, TN

Knoxville Civic Auditorium
Knoxville, TN

The anticipation for Waits had plenty long to stew. For some, the wait had been a lifetime of listening, for others a couple of years, and for a lucky few, a matter of days. Be that as it may, the crowd in Knoxville was nearly overflowing with eager fans even when the hour of 8 PM came and went, and our idol didn't show.

"The anticipation will all disappear" I said, "once he takes the stage."

Knoxville was richly rewarded for their collective patience on Sunday night. All at once, the theatre grew very dim. There was movement on the stage... musicians taking their respective places... and then, the unmistakable chapeau, the scarecrow movements, the contorted fingers... and there he was.

What followed for close to 2 1/2 hours was nothing short of a carnival of sorts. Waits preached to us his own sort of gospel: "Way Down in the Hole", "Jesus Gonna Be Here", and "God's Away on Business." Stamping his feet on the raised platform, kicking up dust like a depression-era traveling evangelist, he took us through an inebriated travelouge that was at times very poignant "On the Nickel" (!) "Come on Up to the House" (please note: I want that song played at my funeral), and "Lucky Day".

Much like a cobra charmer, Waits has that rare capacity to completely captivate his audience, and he did just that in Knoxville. Though the set list relied heavy on "Doom", "Glitter" certainly did make an appearance. During "Eyeball Kid" Waits replaced his bowler with a mirrored Stetson hat and, with spot lights on cue, cast a disco-ball lighting effect upon us all. And true to the song "Make it Rain" he summoned a shower of silver confetti that covered the stage.

"Fannin Street", was a beautiful encore, followed by an equally beautiful rendition of "Come on Up to the House." Once the lights came up... the spell had lost some of its hold, as we were released into the Knoxville night, but the Raindog post-show gathering allowed us to relish the event we all were privilidged to see.

See you in Birmingham!

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

setlist via Shane / The Eyeball Kid


Christina said...

Hello friend! I was just going to send you the link to my Tom Waits review, and I see that you were at there yourself!

Do you mind if I swipe your (correct) setlist? I took a shot at one, but it's nowhere close to right.


Christina said...

Thank you very much!!

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