Fun With Pop Culture

Tom Waits Week: Glitter and Doom

In observance of Tom Waits Week, spunkybean is pleased to reprint this concert review that originally ran on August 7, 2008.  EJ went to the Columbus stop on Tom’s Glitter and Doom tour, recently immortalized in a new concert album.
I don’t really understand concert reviews. Reviewing something that happened once is, I don’t know, more like bragging. Will a good review convince you to travel back in time to see Tom Waits at the Ohio Theatre? And on a tour that’s already sold out, either you’ve already got a ticket, or you haven’t. Instead, I’d just like to make a few points about Tom Waits in general and the Columbus stop on his “Glitter and Doom” tour.
  • Waits’ fanbase fascinates me. There’s an old saying that musicians look like their fans, but the crowd at Tom Waits show is all over the map. There are men in suits, women dressed to the proverbial nines, frat guys in stained t-shirts, hefty dudes in bowling shirts, tiny girls covered in tattoos. If you saw this crowd, you’d be hard-pressed to guess what brought them all to the same location. Strangely, what I found reassuring were the presence of the interesting characters, the ones who’d be right at home in a Tom Waits song. I saw more eyepatches at that show than I’ve ever seen outside of anything pirated-themed. In a songscape populated with German Dwarves, circus folk, and a sentient pair of piano-playing hands, I’d like to think the multiple amputees I saw can find a certain comfort.

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