Tom Waits at The Palladium Ballroom, Dallas 6/23/08
I don’t usually make it out to shows on Monday night. But in this case, Tom Waits (Yes, that Tom Waits) playing his first show here in thirty years, my first ever opportunity to see him live, I think I can make an exception…
The Palladium was already packed when we got there just a few minutes after eight. We took a spot on the floor where it was as hot and crowded as the bowels of Hell. Somehow, that seemed kind of fitting.
The stage was set up pretty minimally with a bunch of horn like speaker-phones of varying sizes mounted on a huge trellis in the back and three more big speaker-phones up front suspended with some lights hanging down on the left side of them, giving the whole thing an off-kilter, slightly cartoonish quality. It was perfect.
At about 8:30 or so, just enough time to grab a beer at the shortest bar line we could find, Tom Waits and his band came out and launched straight into “Lucinda” from his most recent 3 disc set, Orphans. He stood center stage, dressed in a dark suit and a bowler hat. He waved his hands around, shook his fingers and bellowed it out just the way you would imagine Tom Waits would do. He was totally mesmerizing.