On Tom’s current tour he has been reluctant to play many songs from his wonderful new album, “Highway Companion,” as he is sensitive to avoid alienating audiences with unfamiliar, new material to the point of underestimating his new songs’ ability to immediately grab audiences and their popularity on the sales charts already. People know the new stuff and, some of us, are dying to hear it live.
Yet, all summer he has stuck to playing only Saving Grace and Square One and, only one time, Flirting With Time.
The great news hit last week that they would be broadcasting his show in his hometown of Gainesville on the radio and additionally that they would be filming the show—at least to be featured as part of the documentary being made about him and we can only hope for its own DVD release.
From the moment I saw Gainesville was on the tour schedule I knew it would be insanity if he did not play his BEST new song—Down South—at the show where he returns DOWN SOUTH to where he comes from, Gainesville. His performance of “Southern Accents for the hometown (southern) crowd is just perfect, especially at the end of the song when he lays on a thick southern accent and drawl to stretch out the word “I” in “where I come from” and the crowd goes nuts.
So, I figured this would be a great time for him to sing his newest masterpiece about where he comes from. Actually not just a great time—an OBLIGATORY one.
And I figured that with the tour having just taken a couple week break before the third leg, that Tom and the band would rehearse some new songs from Highway Companion so they could be introduced to the setlist now that they have had a couple months in people’s CD players and he can feel more confident that a bigger portion of the audience will already know and like them. So, my expectation was for more Highway Companion songs and in particular some Down South in preparation for the Gainesville performance coming up later in the month.
And last night’s Toronto show—Down South was played. I’m tickled. If he plays it in TORONTO, he’s gotta play it in Gainesville, and, as an FM broadcast and a filmed show, that’s a guaranteed live recording taken right from the soundboard for us collectors of live shows.
So, my day’s been made