Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Monday, 19 March 2012 15:16

Concert review: Clank, Boom and Steam! A Tribute to Tom Waits at Off Broadway, Friday, March 16

Concert review: Clank, Boom and Steam! A Tribute to Tom Waits at Off Broadway, Friday, March 16 facebook.com/tomwaits
Written by Erin Frank
Rate this item
(1 Vote)

While some exceptions could be made for background, I'm willing to bet that for a lot of people, being a fan of Tom Waits from a young age was a lonely feeling.

At least, that's how it felt to me. None of my Pointfest-going friends could appreciate the boozy jazz of "Nighthawks at the Diner" or the wild weirdness of the Island years. I tried including the songs I loved on mixtapes, but eventually, the refrain of "I guess I just don't get it" led me to a solitary fan existence, and I listened to my favorite albums -- 1974's "The Heart of Saturday Night," 1985's "Rain Dogs," and 1990's "Small Change" -- alone in my car. I didn't seek out fellow Waits fans on the Internet, either, and it wasn't until I caught a rare tour appearance that I understood just how deep the love for Tom Waits could run in all these people I didn't know when I was younger. Friday night's Clank, Boom and Steam! A Tribute to Tom Waits at Off Broadway was another gathering of the faithful, featuring devoted impersonations and inspired interpretations of the Tom Waits catalog from local musicians and plenty of appreciation from all of us fans.

I really wish I could give you a set list from the show, or at least a comprehensive list of the artists who took the stage (the list appearing below was taken from the event's Facebook page, but I can't with full authority tell you who played what). Unfortunately, the emceeing was done through a tinny megaphone, so most of the introductions were about as clear as if they'd been broadcasted from a McDonald's drive thru. While most of the earlier acts introduced themselves, the structure of a typical live show was abandoned as the night's festive atmosphere wore on. It wasn't about the bands, it was about Tom and the wonderfully strange art he's been making for decades.

A few standouts:

The first act of the evening was Shoot From the Hip, whose sound check took an unexpected turn into a full-fledged performance of "Murder in the Red Barn." Their Memphis bluesy take was enhanced by the old timey projection screen set up at the back of the stage, and the "Closing Time"-era getup of the lead vocalist didn't hurt, either. Fortunately, only a few artists adopted the full-on Tom Waits voice (somewhere between a rumble, a bellow, and a croon), and Shoot From the Hip's next selection, "Fannin Street," sounded more like Randy Newman punctuated with the ghost of a Waitsian growl.

De Los Muertos was next, barreling through "Cold Water," "Low Down," and "Hoist That Rag" with just the right amount of dirt, grease, and hollering, not to mention a blistering guitar from Dominic Puleo, a Private Pyle-type figure who appeared to have had the most fun out of anyone onstage that night.

A spoons-only performance of "Pasties and a G-String" was done by 88.1 KDHX radio personality Fred Friction, followed by an adorkable trio of Regina Spektor fangirls from Columbia, Mo. called Dubb Nubb. The semi-defective megaphone I mentioned earlier was an unwelcome and pretty much useless piece of noise between sets, but thankfully, there were several spoken word pieces, as well, including the eerily paranoid "What's He Building in There," the downtrodden "Frank's Wild Years," and "9th and Hennepin."

My favorite performances of the evening came from Dock Ellis, who swung from the raucous and raunchy "16 Shells From a 30.6" and "Big Black Mariah" to the gorgeous barroom dirge "Cold Cold Ground," and Tenement Ruth, whose guitarist (David Anderson) organized the evening. To Mr. Anderson, I would like to say that I've been to tribute shows before, and that Clank, Boom and Steam! was an exceptionally fun and reverent appreciation of an artist I have loved fiercely for years, and clearly no longer on my own.

Performing artists:

Magic City

Demon Lover

Ransom Note

Peck of Dirt

Tenement Ruth

Dock Ellis

Tommy Halloran

Fred Friction

Johnny Vegas

De Los Muertos

Royal Smokestacks
Dubb Nubb

Upcoming Concerts

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr

Local Artist Spotlight


Dad Jr: Get Down. Hard.

Sun June 29

Graham Pagano

Mon June 23
Graham Pagano's debut album Quit Complaining is a high charged mix of old and new music. his old blues and classic country feel blended up with a rock and roll attitude makes this stripped down album explode…

88.1 KDHX Shows

m-grill.jpg

KDHX Recommends

July
Saturday
26

Genevieve at Harvest Sessions 2014

Genevieve at Harvest Sessions 2014 Harvest Sessions welcomes Genevieve -- featuring Rebecca Ryan and Leslie Sanazaro -- to the West Pool Pavilion for a morning of acoustic music. This free Saturday morning concert series takes place at the Tower Grove Farmers'...


July
Sunday
27

88.1 KDHX Musical Merry-Go-Round Welcomes Sugar Free All-Stars

88.1 KDHX Musical Merry-Go-Round Welcomes Sugar Free All-Stars 88.1 KDHX Musical Merry-Go-Round welcomes Sugar Free All-Stars for a family matinee Sunday, July 27 at Noon. Kids under two are free. $8 advance tickets on sale now. Tickets available at the door for $10. Kids under two are free. For...


July
Thursday
31

Bradford Lee Folk & The Bluegrass Playboys

Bradford Lee Folk & The Bluegrass Playboys KDHX presents Bradford Lee Folk & The Bluegrass Playboys at The Stage, July 31 at 8pm. Tickets available online.   Born in Louisiana and raised in Missouri, Folk remembers watching his Dad pick the country blues on a...


Get Answers!

If you have questions or need to contact KDHX, visit our answers portal at answers.kdhx.org.

Online Users

8 users and 10572 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook