Big, beautiful, gargantuan thanks are due to whatever arrangement was made that is making Tom Waits' Atlanta show from his Glitter And Doom tour available for streaming at NPR. I worked another nine hours for low wages tonight, I drove home in a car that feels like it's about to flatline, and I walked into a home full of loved ones who deserve a much easier life than the one they currently live.
Anyway, all that said, I have found my smile for the night. It's been a long time coming as well. All I did was click PLAY. And Tom Waits is doing his thing. I hear the reactions of the sold out audience at Atlanta's Fox Theater. I hear their applause, I sense their smiles, and I just know that most of them have goosebumps listening to the singer, the storyteller, the man of theater open the show with "Lucinda" from 2006's Orphans collection. I had those goosebumps when I saw him at the Ryman for that tour and I've got them now. I sip from the last beer waiting for me in the fridge, close my eyes, and I'm in that crowd again.
Already aware of the setlist, I synchronized my iPod to it this morning (except for three songs I don't own!) and listened to much of that playlist today. So far, only five songs into the streaming concert performance, the studio versions pale in comparison to these onstage gifts. Waits and his band really, really sound fantastic. Every song seems to come from a different part of the world. So far, there's no sameness to dull the listener's senses. The energy is high and he's at the top of his game. He's playful, wild, and just about perfect here.
"Such A Scream" is given a rabid jazz treatment that reminds me a bit of Prince on his Sign O' The Times concert film. Funky guitar, sexy sax, and I can just see him strutting around all Cock of the Walk-style. Following that comes "November" with its slow and seductive Spanish guitar. No matter the song, no matter its flavor, his voice is just born for these stories he shares. I'm so appreciative of this moment, lost in beauty.
If you love him, if you like him, if you're even a bit curious about him, check the stream, give it your full attention, and smile big.