Sunday, June 29, 2008

With My Hair Slicked Back/With Carrion Shellac

Where to start?

Well, a couple of months ago, Mike got word from a friend of his that Tom Waits was going to play a show in Columbus. A couple of years ago he played Akron and by the time I found out all the tickets were gone. This time I was ready--not optimistic but ready. I locked the door to my office, got the credit card out, logged onto TicketMaster and kept hitting "Refresh." For 20 minutes. AND IT WORKED! I actually got tickets! Unbelievable. I couldn't really read the seating chart to see what AAA PIT meant but, as long as it was in the theatre, I was happy.

Next hurdle: finding someone to watch the kid overnight. We were hoping to spare Mike's folks that particular situation just because they already watch him alot and, tho he's usually a good baby, when he's not, he's not. Our friend Erica was set to watch him--until her friends told her that babysitting on Saturday would overlap with the surprise birthday party they had planned for her. Ooops. We finally arranged with Grammy and Grandpop that we would come back the same night and pick him up so that their Sunday would be unencumbered (very important for church goin' folk).

We wanted to hit the road by 2 on Saturday but, of course, everything took longer than it should have. I was particularly nervous as the tickets were ETickets meaning you get in by swiping the credit card you used to buy them. I managed to loose that card the day I bought the tickets. I was told that the new card and the original order number would get me in but I could just see the night turning into a very expensive version of "Jukebox Hero." We got into Columbus at about 7:15 and by 7:30 a very nice volunteer usher lady was personally escorting us to the ticket office window to get our tickets. The show was at the Ohio Theatre and, as anyone who has ever been to a restored-grand-old-theatre can tell you, the usher ladies are usually of the older variety. Our escort was no exception and, as she hustled us thru the crowd, she kept saying, "I've never seen anything like this! I've never even heard of Tom Waits and I thought I was with it!" I assured her that after that show, she would be.

We got our tickets, no problem, and I went to find our seats while Mike went to find the men's room. I showed my ticket to another set of usher ladies who told me to show it to "the man in the bowtie." I did so and he took me to my seat.

In. The. FRONT. ROW.


The look on Mike's face must have been the same one I had of "This is really great but it can't possibly be right but I'm going to keep a straight face so maybe we can get away with it." One of Mike's friends from work was there and the two of them kept texting each other like a couple of middle school girls (tho, to their credit, they stopped before the show started.) This guy is the one who told us about the show in the first place and their seats were good but up in the normal floor section. Once he saw where we were, the texts became variations on "You lucky bastard." "How did you get those seats? You bastard!" O Mighty TicketMaster Gods: Our Humble Thanks To You.

Here is a shot of the stage backdrop from my seat:

Here is a shot of Tom's parade drum:

This is not a music review blog so I'll keep it short and just say that the show was phenomenal, especially "Cemetery Polka" and a crazy, unhinged version of "Hoist That Rag," that made me feel like I was actually inside the head of Tom Waits. He must have seen me in the front row because they also did, "November," which is one of my favorites. No intermission, just 2 straight hours of perfect music. From the front row.


Mike drove back, which made it about 8 hours worth of driving in less than 24 hours. We got in at about 3:30, picked up the kid (sound asleep and he stayed that way) got home, poured Donny into his crib, crashed in our bed and woke up at 9 when the kid started squawking.

Today we went to the Carnegie International. Donny was pretty good but it was hard to look at art the way I'm used to looking at art. I had to just accept everything quickly and at face value, without time to read the labels. There was one installation with lights and venetian blinds that Donny really liked. I was hoping he'd be into the room with the crystal orbs scattered around but he was a bit too fussy for that. By the time we got halfway thru, he was asleep. I carried him for awhile but then we started getting sleepy too. We packed him up and called it a day.

How was your weekend?