Tom Waits, raconteur, poet, singer, pianist, writer, genius and one-man revivalist of a bygone world, in a 1978 concert from Austin, Texas. Hear the emerging star, strikingly young and self-assured in his compelling skid-row persona, as he takes us on a series of amazing journeys, at once comic and poignant, and full of the down-at-heels characters only Mr. Waits can bring to life. In songs like "On The Nickel," "I Wish I Was In New Orleans," "Romeo Is Bleeding," "Small Change" and others, Waits conjures up an entire universe all his own. One of the most idiosyncratic writers and performers is captured at an early moment in his amazing and influential career. Recorded Live on December 5, 1978 in Austin, Texas.
The classic Shakespearean romantic tragedy is updated by director Baz Luhrmann to a post-modern Verona Beach where swords are merely a brand of gun and bored youths are easily spurred toward violence. Longtime rivals in religion and business, the Montagues and the Capulets share a page from the Jets and Sharks of West Side Story when they form rival gangs. Romeo (Leonardo DiCaprio) is aloof toward the goings-on of his Montague cousins, but after he realizes that Juliet (Claire Danes) is a Capulet at the end of one very wild party, the enmity between the two clans becomes the root of his angst. He relies heavily – and with serious consequences – on his rebel gender-bender of a friend, Mercutio (Harold Perrineau Jr.), and Father (not Friar) Lawrence (Pete Postlethwaite) for protection and support.