Movie Reviews

Half-Ass Concert Review: Tom Waits – Glitter & Doom (Jul 8)

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.

  • As with most things in my live that make me happy, I got into Tom Waits through the nerdiest means possible. About ten years ago, I was obsessed with cartoonist Eddie Campbell, and I somehow found an interview with Waits where he said that he named “The Eyeball Kid”, a recurring character in his songs, after a Campbell character. Naturally, I had to buy a copy of Bone Machine, and that changed everything. For that reason, it was really exciting for me that Tom performed “The Eyeball Kid” as one of his encores.
  • Unfortunately, a number of people at the show saw fit to wear porkpie hats. Yes, Tom Waits wears a porkpie hat (and at one point in the show, a mirrored derby), but he is the coolest man in America. What follows is a partial list of people who are cool enough to wear a porkpie hat and not look like a jackass:

–George Clooney –Paul Rudd –Bruce Wayne –Clancy Brown

If you somehow believe that you are cool enough to wear a porkpie hat, you are mistaken.

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