Saturday, August 05, 2006

Memphis setlist

UPDATE: After reading the comments I've added Who's Been Talkin'.

Memphis (TN) - Orpheum Theatre, August 4
Make it Rain
Hoist That Rag
Shore Leave
Ain't Going to the Well
Yesterday is Here
God's Away on Business
'Til the Money Runs Out
2 19 (My Baby's Leaving on the)
Dead and Lovely
Tango Till They're Sore
House Where Nobody Lives
The Ocean Doesn't Want Me
Invitation to the Blues
Whistling Past the Graveyard
Heart Attack and Vine (with Spoonful snippet)
Shake It
It Rains on Me
Who's Been Talkin'
Trampled Rose
Get Behind the Mule
Murder in the Red Barn
Going out West

Day after Tomorrow
Sins of the Father

The picture of Larry Taylor and Tom Waits was sent in by an anonymous fan.


bigshoulders said...

Nice setlist!
looks like each city is treated to it's own "Talkie."

Atlanta - "9th & Hennepin"
Asheville - "What's He Building?"
Memphis - "The Ocean Doesn't Want Me"


Anonymous said...

2:19! Finally we have an Orphan sighting! I wouldn't trade the Asheville show for anything, but I have to admit I'm a bit jealous of the Memphis audience. Also, what's the story on Ain't Going To the Well?

swordfish0413 said...

I´m really impressed by the amout of changes in the setlists of this tour. And of course I´m a little jealous, too...
One thing I don´t understand is the obvious importance of Get Behind The Mule for TW. He seems to play this song allmost on every occasion. Dot´t get me wrong: It´s not that I don´t like it, but there are many songs on Mule Variations I find a lot more exciting.
Any explanations or ideas about the special relationsship with the song?

Anonymous said...

I think, Swordfish0413, the fascination with "get behind the mule" may be based on the lyrics. they are, arguable, more like lyrics from his earlier works than other tunes' lyrics on Mule Variations. and maybe it's because he doesn't like touring so much, and the chorus is about doing what you have to do, and keeping on keeping on, even if you don't like it, and hopefully you can keep the prize in your mind -- diamonds, sapphires, whatever.

I dunno, really... Mule Variations isn't one of my favorite albums.
-from a long-time TW fan, going to the Akron show (seeing TW for the first time!)

Mahood said...

Ain't Going To the Well - pretty sure it's a Huddie Ledbetter (aka Leadbelly) song. The earliest recording I think is about 1935, though he certainly recorded it more than once. Waits gave a memorable performance of it on the Freedom Highway documentary. Of Leadbelly, Waits has said;

'I was born the day after Leadbelly died. I’d like to think we passed in the hall. When I hear his voice, I feel I know him. Maybe I was a rock on a road he walked on or a dish in his cupboard, because when I heard him first I recognized him'.


I ain't going down
I ain't going down
Oh, honey to the well no more
And I ain't got nothing
Oh, and I can't stand nothing
I ain't going down
I ain't going down
Oh, sweet mama to the well no more
You said you was a true believer
I'm the true believer
I'm a true believer
I ain't going down
I ain't going down
Oh, mama to the well no more

Marianne Faithfull has also covered this, strangely...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info, Mahood!

I love that he's incorporating old blues songs into these shows. It's rather appropriate for a tour through the American South.

Anonymous said...

"I think, Swordfish0413, the fascination with "get behind the mule" may be based on the lyrics. they are, arguable, more like lyrics from his earlier works than other tunes' lyrics on Mule Variations. and maybe it's because he doesn't like touring so much, and the chorus is about doing what you have to do, and keeping on keeping on, even if you don't like it, and hopefully you can keep the prize in your mind -- diamonds, sapphires, whatever.

I dunno, really... Mule Variations isn't one of my favorite albums.
-from a long-time TW fan, going to the Akron show (seeing TW for the first time!)"

As you said, "Get Behind the Mule" is a working song. (If it were a dog, it might be a Newfoundland.) And that song always reminds me of "Misery's the River of the World" and the popular refrain, "everybody row"... I love both those songs for that very reason. There's a chain gang feeling about both songs. Sooo glad TW is hauling his chain gang out to our neck of the woods.

Eyeball kid, I love you. Thanks for having this blog. I can barely wait until Monday in Louisville. This will be my first time seeing Himself.

2for2true said...

Regarding the attraction to Mule Variations, Tom played a good bit of this CD on the Real Gone tour as well. I believe its simply his preference to play songs from his more recent recordings rather than focusing on the earlier ones, and nothing more. If you're interested in learning more about his views on the mule cd, see if you can get your hands on the rare "Mule Conversations" CD which was released as a giveaway by Epitaph on the day Mule went on sale. I've seen copies on Ebay, but they tend to be a very expensive collector's CDs now, going for 30-40 dollars.

I'm really excited about seeing Tom at the Ryman tonight in Nashville. I'd love to hear some of the 'orphaned' songs like Stray Dog or Paradise Alley. I saw the Atlanta show, but missed Asheville and Memphis. Would like to hear from someone who has seen all shows thus far who can compare the performances and tell us which one he or she preferred, and why.

Too bad there's no merch on sale at the shows. I must have had 30 people in Atlanta ask me where I got my Raindog T-shirt. One guy offered to buy it for 50 dollars, but no way I'd sell it.

8 hours and counting!!!!

middleclasstool said...

Finally got back home to Arkansas from the Memphis show at about one in the morning. It was the first (and I hope, not the last) time I've ever seen him live.

The show was fantastic. Man brings more energy to his performances than you'd think possible in a man of his age -- I've seen twenty-five-year-old musicians who looked comatose compared to him.

One thing missing on the setlist -- you caught that he stuck "Spoonful" into "Heartattack and Vine", but you missed that he folded "Wade in the Water" with "Sins of My Father":

Wade in the Water
Wade in the Water, children
wade in the Water
God's gonna trouble the Water

Funny, beautiful, powerful show. Made me fall in love with him all over again.

Those curious about the cover of the spiritual "Ain't Going to the Well" should check out this youtube clip from a German documentary about Waits.

He's said in the past that "The Mule Variations" is one of his more personal albums, and I agree. Listening to it, he sounds like he's laid bare in just about every track, completely open and vulnerable. It's my favorite of his for that reason. "Get Behind the Mule" isn't my favorite track from it (I was hoping to hear "Picture in a Frame" or "Chocolate Jesus", personally), but it's a damn good one.

Anonymous said...

Awesome show, my only complaint was some of the overexcited (or drunk maybe) audience... People would clap once at completely random points throughout a song (not on a beat), people who would make up their own beats clapping to a song (both of these while no one else is clapping), and people yelling during the songs... The sound wasn't that loud, so anything slightly loud (expecially during the piano songs) would especially echo within the mezzanine was extremely distracting...

Otherwise the audience was great and an amazing show...

Started around 8:30 and ended around 11.

Anonymous said...

Courtesy of boredom and AppleWorks, songs he played last night that he didn't at the other 2:

Ain't Going to the Well
Yesterday Is Here
2:19 (My Baby's On The)
Dead & Lovely
The Ocean Doesn't Want Me
Spoonfull (?)
It Rains On Me
Sins of the Father

I'm pretty sure he did a verse of Spoonfull along with the 2 choruses... I remember seeing someone mention it in another setlists comment's, but I can't remember for sure....

Anonymous said...

Wow that show was amazing.
I loved the version of Murder in the Red Barn he did.

Anonymous said...

Wow, the show was completely breathtaking. Tom's voice and playing was in top form, and I was very impressed by the arrangments and the presentation. Whoever is working the lighting at these shows is damn good at what they do. My only complaint is that, I have to be honest here, I really don't think Duke fits in with the rest of the band, nor that his playing fits most of the songs. He does very well on older ones, like "Whistlin' Past The Graveyard," but he's a wee bit too predictable for me. Anyone else missing Marc Ribot, Smokey Hormel, and Joe Gore??

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know how I can get a copy of the Freedom Highway Doc??
I can't find it anywhere.
Thanx shango

Anonymous said...

Yes, I was a little puzzled at why duke was chosen out of the likely thousands of guitarists Tom probably Knows.I think duke destroyed "don't go into that barn" He kept looking at Tom almost desperately.At least at the Atlanta show. I could have played it better.

Anonymous said...

I would like to see that Documentary too, Shango.
I think it was an Irish thing?
Don't know if it's still in print.
Eyeball kid???.....

bigshoulders said...

Not to take anything away from Duke R. but I would have loved to have seen Marc Ribot tear up that solo in Hoist that Rag. Duke's was, well... not Marc Ribot's. He's good, and I enjoyed the "blues treatment" but I did miss Ribot's playing, having been so familiar with it from Raindogs and Real Gone.

Can't wait for Akron!


Anonymous said...

any pictures from this show?

Anonymous said...

thanks for all of this information about the shows. i wish he was coming near me.

on a minor note from above, if anyone wants a copy of the Bone Machine Manual Cd, or the Mule Conversations, i'd be happy to work something out as a trade.

that they are going for so much when they were essentially free seems a great injustice to me that i'd be happy to help correct, even if it is a fleeting gesture.

if you're interested, e-mail me at:

blackbough (at)

Anonymous said...

I agree with some of the comments about "duke" made earlier. He's a great guitarist, but at the atlanta show at least, I missed some of the more imaginative and unpredictable playing of some of the past Waits' guitarist. Not every song demands penatonic. However, it was still a beautiful and raw show.


I could be wrong, but I swore he did "Who's been talkin'" at he Memphis show. I have to say, it was a very moving performance, Tom was in top form, voice, humor and all the writhing and twisting we love from that scarecrow! The light effects on the curtains were amazing, espicially when he played piano and you could see the reflection of his hands and the keys. The will call situation wasn't a problem at this show thankfully, I think I was in line for maybe 20 minutes. Met some good folks and had A blast! Thanks again Rachel for buying my extra tickets, hope you had as much fun as we did! Was anyone else amazed by his performance of "Circus"?! Absolutely fantastic!


Another note, he used his bullhorn during 2 19(My Baby's Leaving on the)!


One more thing! Did anyone else notice the video camera set up in the front of the mezzanine? Sorry, still overcome by the show I guess.

Anonymous said...

did anyone happen to get a flyer from this show

Anonymous said...

I noticed the camera too... there was one in the center and one to the right and that one guy kept coming to screw with the center one, so I'm assuming it was being used

no flyers that I knew of... there were posters being hung up, but I was too stupid to go grabe one before the show

Anonymous said...

What is 219?

The Ocean Doesn't Want Me was awesome.

But all this being said, some ass on the left said of the mezzanine ( a row or two back from me) was just shouting and hollering the whole show at the must innapropriate places. How could such an ass love Tom Waits?

And if YOU visit this site, let me tell you I wish slow death upon you. You ruined sins of my father.

Anonymous said...

Anyone notice him messup the lyrics to Tango?

He repeated an earlier line when he should have said "Make sure they play my theme song
I guess daisies will have to do"

He said

"Just sure she's all in calico
I guess daises will have to do"

Or something lke that...

Anonymous said...

Who's Been Talkin' was played, after It Rains on Me.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone manage to get a poster?

Anonymous said...

219 is a train.

Anonymous said...

I had given up on ticket for Akron, but just discovered my two young kids will be with my folks and I'm seriously considering a 2 hour drive w/ no tickets in hand. Can anyone say they've seen many tix for sale outside the venues? I'd love the chance to see him, but don't want to make the trip if the chances are minimal to score 1 ticket.

SarahV said...

Most (all?) of the shows have had more tickets released on the day of, or the day before, the show... so don't give up, there's a very good chance you can score from ticketmaster at the last minute.

Anonymous said...

I have to echo the comments regarding Duke. Nice playing (Asheville), just didn't seem to fit in during the first half. Got more spirited during the second half - but I still would have given a limb - well, maybe a phlange - to have had Ribot there doing Hoist that Rag.

Anonymous said...

I caught the memphis show and was thinking he would not make it past the first 30 seconds trying to sing. He got stronger and stronger and outlasted probably half the crowd who had to dash in and out of the concert. I was glued to my seat, my jaw was dropped open as TW gave the most visceral and corageous performance i've ever seen. he used every part of his mouth and body to produce music. get behind the mule was so appropriate because that is what TW does.... plows everyday regardless of the circunstances. Rains on Me gave me goosebumps!

Anonymous said...

I am trying to get in touch with a guy sitting in the Grand Tier, to the left of the stage, row B. I really enjoyed talking to him, and I would just like to chat more. We didn't exchange emails or even names, so I'm taking a chance that maybe he reads this blog. I'll check back here for any responses.

trampledROSE said...

I miraculously got tickets to the Tom Waits show in Memphis and I have never been happier. I spent a week and a half telling random people all I knew of the man and forcing people at work to listen to his songs.
The show was unfuckingbelievable. From the beginning when he posed behind the curtain to the end of his very nicly long encore, was an experience.
Unfortunately I have two of the rudest people in creation sitting in front of me. They didn't sit for the completion of even one song. Instead they chatted and moved around and for some reason kept leaving. I however wouldn't have left if the venue was on fire, as long as Tom Waits was still playing.
I got to hear "Tango til their sore" which is probably my top favorite song, which was an experience I will never forget. I got to hear a couple of stories, one about a square watermelon, and even heard a couple of songs I hadn't before.
All in all of the best experiences of my life and one I hope will one day be repeated. I don't care about the cost, if I have the chance, I'm seeing him again. Rock on Tom Waits!

P.S. Does anyone have any pictures of the concert? I unfortunately didn't have a camera phone.

Anonymous said...

found this link in the torrent on DIME (sorry, torrent's not of our show)

Singapore (which is our show)

Anonymous said...

Being from Memphis, I was amazed to see that he was coming to town. Almost a week later, I still haven't completely recovered from the experience. That was the most impressive thing I've ever seen in my whole fucking life, and it won't soon be forgotten. The Orpheum was a great place for him to play, and other than a couple minor annoyances, it was absolutely unbelievable. You won't hear me complaining about a thing!

Memphis was proud to have him, and will welcome him back with open arms anytime he's ready...

Anonymous said...

Waits combined Sins of My Father with the hymn "Wade in the Water"

Anonymous said...

I'm not complaining, but why did every other city get two encores and Memphis got one?


Tom didn't slight us, count the number songs in the list, regardless of encores he played a very full set.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for pointing that out. You're right.

Selby said...

Make it Rain in Mephis, a very bad video...

Selby said...

in Memphis on YouTube

Anonymous said...

Thanks selby, the google video isn't really too bad, sound's decent too except for the pops.... I take it you didn't film it though? looks like the person continued....

Anonymous said...

i was at this show. the encore features Wade in the Water coming after Sins of the Father

greg said...

I absolutely loved this show and I'm still pinching myself that I was able to see him after waiting 25 years. I thought Duke Robillard was an interesting and thoughtful choice as a new voice in reinterpreting Waits' music with a decidedly bluesy approach. For me, it was quite a treat to see a show which featured Tom playing the songs he wanted to play without a cd to sell, or a t-shirt, for that matter.

Greg in St. Louis