Tom Conlon Show Last Night

How can words express?

The feelings of comfort, love, understanding, grace, peace that come from this music, this man’s music and not only his music but his person, his being, his aura, his presence. He is a person touched with the divine and like most with such a gift, unknown and unappreciated by far too many.

i messed with most of these shots in photoshop. i liked the way they looked pixelated just a bit

click pics for full view

As you might know, it snowed a little bit yesterday. Not too much in the end, despite my complaining, and it did not snow overnight and it is not snowing now as the weatherpeople had sternly warned. There were plenty of people on the road driving to their surburban home from their city job last night, but not many found the courage of spirit to then make it out to a humble and god-breathed performance in a venue just a little too clean and a little too big to contain the few dusty souls that gathered to bask in the glow…

close up

Those who did not know of this man were pleasantly surprised, enraptured with the ease with which Tom captured our ears in such a short time.

this shot has been done already i know...tom in a common chanteuse pose

extreme close up

Alas, the time was short, much too short, for we could have sat much longer, eyes closed, the angels attending to our pores, Jesus surely sitting right there, present on an evening when so many would not make the effort…

my favorite no.1

We sat and talked afterward with Tom and our new friend Blaine, who drove an hour to come to the show. That Tom opened for the headlining band was a farce, they playing too loudly for us, sitting way in the back at the tables by the coffee bar, to really hear each other well. It was almost bizarre to be sitting there with him on that cold night in a near-empty coffee joint with cheesy pop music blaring…if Over the Rhine is like a special club, Tom the most sickenly sweet secret that you want to share with everyone…

my favorite no.2

I really would have preferred to be in the loft of Common Grounds, who dissed us like a last second prom date, or maybe at least our apartment, all sitting on the floor (since we have no couch), listening and talking softly…

my favorite no.3

Tom’s take from last night was, in his words and no doubt accurate if even exaggerated, was enough to pay for the gas it took to divert from I-95. (He’s on his way to a tour of the southern states, starting in Georgia. He should be in South Carolina right now, in fact. He got on the road as we said goodbye after evening’s end.)

it may look like he is giving some kind of lecture in this shot, but really he is just asking me how my camera works...i was being sneaky and taking no-flash shots without warning

We gave him a token amount of money, not even enough to make up for what he should have made at the show, maybe enough to pay for the gas to South Carolina. Tom makes me wish I was independently wealthy, so I could finance his art indefinitely, make him famous, the next Bono but without the pretension. But then I realize that doesn’t have to do with anything that matters, that it wouldn’t make Tom happier or enrich his art or our experience…Tom has been blessed, and blesses us, with things not made of this earth, of a transcendence known to only so few…

me in my usual earnest pose...the other shot where i am smiling, tom's eyes are half-closed, so i went with this one despite the fact i look like i wasn't having a good time, which isn't true! also: photoshop does wonders for pale faces!

more: transcript of an interview i did with Tom last yearTom’s websiteTom Conlon - Wake Me (6.8M mp3)