Originally posted August 23, 2006
I thought I should write a little something about the Waits show, before I forget all the little details.
The show was 8/13/06 in Akron, 8pm. The weekend had already tired me out, as Warped Tour was Friday, with a little party afterwards, and then work all day Saturday and another party Sat. night. Sunday I had to be at work at 7:30 am, and brough Mike along with me. He pretty much slept the morning away, either in the car, or in the house I was visiting. By the time we finished (around 1-ish), I was dead tired. I think I had no more than 3 or 4 hours a sleep for the past 4 or 5 nights before that, and very very little to eat the whole weekend. I'm talking 1.5 orders of french fries. Not really a good idea, but when I have a weekend like that, I really am not very hungry.
SO, we get back to my house, hang out and watch a movie (yay to Choke) and lay in bed for awhile. I wanted to sleep, but just couldn't. I am not much of a napper, except when I am hella sick. Decided I should shower, although laziness took over and I ended up staying in bed. We made drinks around 2, and headed down to Akron around 4:30 or so. Bought some beer, which we drank in the car when we finally parked on the street in Akron, and had a few when we arrived.
Oh yeah - when we were hanging out at home, I kept saying "Guess what?" And Mike would answer, "What?" Me: "We are going to see Tom Waits today!" I don't think either of us could really believe it. Maybe we didn't think it was actually going to happen. I know I have QUITE a history of bad luck about these things, but the fact that I scored tickets made me think that maybe my luck had changed.
My luck must have changed, as I completely left out part of the story:
Friday night, Mike and I were running out to pick up food and beer, and when we got into the liquor store, I realized that I didn't have any money on me, as my wallet was not in my purse. I figured I had left it at Ryan's house (where we just came from), and I would get it when we got back there. When we returned, we searched for my wallet everywhere, but to no avail. It wasn't in my car, Ryan's car, the house, etc. It was gone. In my wallet were (most importantly), my credit/debit card, ID, confirmation number for our Waits tickets (will call), birth certificate, and SS card. I had the last 2 in there b/c I just had to get a new driver's license earlier in the week. Without ANY of that stuff, there is no way we could pick up my tickets from the will call window. They were super strict about the rules, and you had to have the first 3 items that I listed above to pick up your tickets. Mike thought I lost my wallet during the day at Warped, but Ryan said that he was sure I had it at the house. Mike and I decided to run up to the 2 places that we had just visited (Taco Bell and liquor store) and see what happened. We got to Taco Bell, and lo and behold - there was my wallet, in the parking lot. Untouched, although it was over 30 minutes since we had last set foot in the lot. Pretty crazy.
So, back to Sunday. After a few in the car, we decided to walk around and see what we could find. It was amazing - so MANY people from all over the country had come together to see Waits play that evening. I really thought that all the fans would be grown-ups, but there were quite a few younger people as well - more "ecclectic" type of kids (well, my age-ish) than normal folk, but you get my drift. There was a bar next door to the venue, which it seemed every Waits fan had decided to go to, as very few restaurants/taverns were open that Sunday. There was some food festival going on as well, but you had to purchase tickets for food - like $2 for half a hamburger or some nonsense. We avoided the festival, and stopped into the crowded bar for a moment. It was TOO crowded, so we kept walking. During the walks, it was back to the car for another beer or 2. Little car parties all afternoon long - haha.
Finally found a little taco place, and I decided to eat, as I felt SUPER shaky and really just run down. I got a bean burrito, and ate a bit of it. Couldn't eat more than a few bites, as my stomach wasn't happy about being filled up with food again.
Walked back to the car, took some pics, and then decided to go in to get our tickets. At that point, I REALLY realized that we were going to the show. It hadn't really even hit me up until that point. Kind of like a dream, you know?
Got the tickets, and went to find our seats. CRAZY good seats! We were on the floor, just about center, about 50 feet from the stage! I think we were both a bit giddy at this point (and probably a bit smelly as well). =) Went to buy another beer up at the concession stand, and made friends with the guy working there. Haha - I love making friends EVERYWHERE. It paid off later, though, as he ended up buying me a drink. That worked out nicely, as the beer there was $5. I still have my 2 plastic bottles from the show - ah memories.
Went back to our seats after a quick trip to the bathroom - didn't want to have to get up during the show, and there wasn't going to be an intermission. Show was scheduled to begin at 8, but didn't start until around 8:40. When it did, though. Oh My God. When the lights went down, the crowd just errupted. Screams, applause, probably even some crying (oh wait, that was me - j/k). And then - shadows. The curtain was brightly lit, and the figures of the band were shadows. You saw them walk up to the curtain, and then come out. After a brief delay...the MAN made his grand entrance.
When I think about the show or have daydreams while at work, that is what I see in my head. =)
And then it began. I really didn't know what to expect, sound-wise, but his voice was more amazing in real life than I had ever hoped. It just blew me away, and I still get goosebumps when I hear any of the songs that he sang that night.
I really don't have words to describe the show itself, but suffice it to say that EVERY one in the crowd knew how lucky they were to be there (tickets sold out in less than 10 minutes), and gave SO much energy to the show and experience as a whole.
Waits sang and played (and told some stories) for about 2 hours, and then came back for an encore. After he finished that, the crowd wasn't going anywhere, and clapped and cheered until he came back again. It was weird - I don't know when (if ever) I have been in such a situation where people have all gathered together for a communal purpose, and are there in an almost reverent manner. Some people have waited their entire lives to see Waits sing, as he rarely tours, and when he does, it is nearly impossible to get tickets. Like I said, everybody felt honored to be there that night. I know I did. Most importantly, I was able to share the experience with somebody whos presence there that night actually meant something. Mike is a HUGE Waits fan, and I was so happy to be able to score tickets and go to the show with him that night. I don't think either of us will ever forget August 13th, 2006.
And Mike, don't forget - firstborn child, and his/her name WILL be Tom.