Iconoclast and reclusive touring artist TOM WAITS is making an unprecedented move by taking his always unpredictably stunning live show on the road, mostly in cities (Atlanta, Memphis, Louisville, Nashville) where he hasn’t been seen on stage since the mid-to-late ‘70s. As for Asheville, NC, Tom has never played a gig; he hasn’t performed in Akron, OH or Detroit since the ‘80s. The most recent stop on this extraordinary tour is Chicago, where Waits played the Chicago Theater for three sold out nights on his “Mule Variations” tour in ‘99.
“We need to go to Tennessee to pick up some fireworks, and someone owes me money in Kentucky,” says Waits about why he’s chosen this particular time and route to tour.
When this two-time Grammy-winner last performed live in 2004, tickets sold out in hours, if not minutes. His most recent live date in London sold out in 30 minutes, with over 150,000 ticket requests received within the first hour. Waits’ three previous North American concerts (two in Vancouver, Canada and one in Seattle) were also snapped up in record time.
“His concert was a nostalgic trip through freak shows, murder ballads, and ruminations on lost love,” wrote Charles R. Cross in Rolling Stone after 2004 performance at Seattle’s Paramount Theater. “He didn’t so much sing these songs as he wheezed, whistled, and shouted them, shaking his fist like a craps player on a roll. Mining his recent Real Gone…Waits created a world of haunting characters adrift in a bygone age.”
In other news, Paste magazine has just issued its collector’s edition citing the “100 Best Living Songwriters,” with Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan (longtime co-writer, co-producer and wife) clocking in at #4. According to Paste, “In literature, only a handful of writers have pulled off the near impossible. In music, it happens on every Tom Waits recording.”
Look for local ads in the regional papers for on sale dates. The first show in Atlanta goes on sale July 8.
Tour dates are as follows: DATE CITY/STATE VENUE Tues, Aug 1 Atlanta, GA Tabernacle Wed, Aug 2 Asheville, NC Thomas Wolfe Auditorium Fri, Aug 4 Memphis, TN Orpheum Theatre Sat, Aug 5 Nashville, TN Ryman Auditorium Mon, Aug 7 Louisville, KY Palace Theatre Wed, Aug 9 Chicago, IL Auditorium Theatre Fri, Aug 11 Detroit, MI Opera House Sun, Aug 13 Akron, OH Akron Civic