Holy flying fuck.
So we got to the venue at like, 1 PM, and I was the second one in line. After awhile, several familiar faces showed up; my friends Jordan and Ben (brothers) and their friend Megan. They are all diehard Tom Waits fans and Megan is really outgoing and funny. Jordan was so excited, it was like a kid on Christmas morning. We found out that we could get in early if we got our wristbands through the bar, so we did. Everyone in the crowd were incredibly nice and cool, we met epic friends like this guy Adrian who is a filmmaker from Denver who flew down for the show, and his friend Mike who kept trying to buy us all drinks and/or cheese fries in the grill. We had some drinks (I had gin for the first time, in honor of Mr. Waits... it was okay but I prefer the bourbon and whiskey I usually drink) and talked, and ended up with like thirty people crowded around our table exchanging Myspace names and stuff. It was a blast, I've never been so comfortable in a crowd. TW just has good fans, I guess if you 'get it' then there's obviously something kinda special about you.
When he came onstage, we were on the barrier. I was right behind Ben, who was fully pressed against it, and we were just off to the side of the stage with an excellent view. Tom came out skipping and dancing in little circles, looking amazing in his trademark hat, a dusty black suit, and a mint green shirt. He launched into 'Lucinda' and was stomping the ground, huge puffs of dust coming up. He had a full band; a saxophonist, a guitarist, a keyboardist, and his son Casey was on drums. The drum kit was incredible, a total hodgepodge of bongos and kettle drums and bass and snare and gongs and sandpaper and bits of brass for Casey to tap with his sticks; there were over 100 different instruments onstage, from megaphones to Victrolas to harmonicas to maracas and strange standing guitars and huge cellos and Tom made use of every one of them in at least one song.
Lucinda/Ain't Goin Down
Way Down in the Hole
Anywhere I Lay My Head
Frank's Wild Years
Hoist That Rag
Get Behind the Mule
Such a Scream
Hang Down Your Head
Invitation to the Blues
Innocent When You Dream
16 Shells from a Thirty-Ought Six
Lie to Me
Dirt in the Ground
Black Market Baby (a weird jazzy version, EXCELLENT)
Misery's the River of the World
Make it Rain
Jesus Gonna Be Here
When it was half-over, my friend texted me to ask if I had picked up the pass. I was like "What pass?" She told me that since she hadn't been able to meet me for the show (which was our original plan way back before I even bought tickets), she had gotten a VIP pass for me and it was waiting for me at the box office. Because she is an amazing goddess. So I got out of the crowd and went outside to get it. It was insane when I came back. Because of his voice, Tom had requested the A/C be turned off, and as a result, there were over 2000 people packed into a dark room with no air conditioning in Texas in late June. It smelled so bad and felt like an oven, they were pulling people out left and right from fainting. Also the room was packed to capacity, you couldn't even move through the crowd to get anywhere you needed to be. But I found a spot up on the railing where I could see very well and I watched the rest of the show from there.
When it was over I went downstage to talk to the tour manager, but he said Tom doesn't meet with people and he doesn't sign autographs/take pics or anything like that, that he was actually already on the bus and they were about to bail. So I said that was cool and shook his hand, and he ended up giving me a hug and saying that he was always really glad to meet really young Rain Dogs because it was getting more and more rare to meet young people who liked Tom. Most people in the crowd were older thirties and up, my little 'group' was definitely the exception.
When the show ended completely, I went out into the lobby to meet my mom and tell her all about it... and found out that somehow, without even setting foot into the venue, my mom had gotten the actual set list that Casey Waits, Tom's son, was using onstage during the show. I have no idea how, but she just handed it to me and was like "There ya go. Love you, baby." I have no idea how she does this shit to me, but it's better than the alternative that I had feared, which was that I would come out and she'd say she'd just had a cup of coffee with a very nice man named Tom or something like that. Because she totally wouldn't recognize him and that would REALLY have been ironic.
Sorry these aren't the best, I was working with a cell phone.