Friday, August 11, 2006

The Wait Is Over -or- Left Out in the Rain (Dogs)

Tonight Tom Waits will play a sold out concert at the Detroit Opera House, his first appearance in the Detroit metropolitan area since a concert in Ann Arbor in 1987. I won't be going, and I can give you two reasons why. Number one: I didn't know about it. It seems to me like I heard that he was touring back when he announced his dates, but it didn't register in my brain that I should think about buying tickets. And two, which actually consists of a few related reasons: the Detroit Opera House holds only 2,800 people, the tickets ran something like $75.00 to begin with and now are going for over $200 a piece on ebay.

Still, the concert got a write up in the Free Press, and, judging from the article, both the Opera House people and the even the writer of the article, Brian McCollum seem surprised by the public response to a Tom Waits performance. The tickets sold out almost immediately and are now being scalped for legitimate chunks of cash: this old guy who can't sing is pretty much overshadowing anything else the Opera House has staged in recent memory (though Beck did perform there a few years ago to significant fanfare).

It seems to me like this sort of thing (I'm sure similar scenes are/have been going down in Louisville and Akron) just goes to prove that Tom Waits will not end up being an underground legend or a genius unrecognized in his own time. Everyone loves Tom Waits, and everyone knows how brilliant he is. His case is simply a case in which people such as Brian McCollum, wilfully or not, remain oblivious to the public. Tom Waits is a pop musician. Maybe this is a hard concept to grasp, but really, why shouldn't he be?

In case your wondering why I'm rambling, it's because I actually just want to go the concert like everyone else.

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