(Groove Guide April 2010)
Ok, so here’s the thing. I never been to a Tom Waits concert. But if I did, I would be completely awestruck by this gravel tongued, quirky, theatrical entertainer. A legend of the underground, Waits is capable of a repertoire that ranges from circus speigel-ness to gravely sea shanties and tales of the low down, drunk and dirty. But were we aware of the comedy this man is capable of? Sitting at the piano, taunting the audience with song and stalling with story after story Waits drags out a good half hour kooky, quixotic ruminations, odd naturals fact and delightful delivered bad jokes “in Oaklahoma, you can go to jail for kissing a stranger, it’s illegal to make a monkey smoke, Ermines, Minks and Weasels are all in the same family, and so on…” He banters with the audience and cajoles the audience in true vaudeville style “In Oaklahoma I went to the Spam museum, it never deteriorates, eternal freshness, embalmed meat”. This disc alone is worth the admission. Coupled with a blitzing repertoire, too magnificent to mention individually, this collection transports you to the front seat of the best concert in the world.