Thursday, May 12, 2005

Nick Cave Concert Review

By Matt Connors, Melbourne Herald Sun:

Elegantly dressed in a dark suit, Cave appeared in good spirits but remained typically laconic. A spirited cry of "You rock, Nick!" from the crowd provoked a wry response: "On occasions." Later, Cave surprised with a smile and chuckle when a well-placed Conway Savage piano note in Babe, You Turn Me On undid the lyric "we do not make a sound".

Throughout their set, the Bad Seeds bristled with energy, particularly on their electric renditions of Supernaturally, a flute-backed Breathless and There She Goes, My Beautiful World.

After 21 years together, the band is ageing like a fine wine. The dual drum and percussion assault of Jim Sclavunos and Thomas Wydler was sheer brute force and a sight to behold in the explosive outro to Hiding All Away.

Violinist Warren Ellis brought his trademark mix of melody and mayhem to the table, but it was Martyn P.Casey's bruising bass lines that steered the ship, resonating with a delightful 80s fuzz.

Elsewhere, with the stage a burnt red, Cave and co delivered a menacing Red Right Hand, followed by a visceral City of Refuge. Other oldies, The Mercy Seat and The Weeping Song - even without guitarist Blixa Bargeld - also rang true with the gospel treatment.

B-side Come into My Sleep and God in the House began the encore set, even though Cave forgot the latter's convoluted lyrics. Fittingly, Deanna (with a snippet of Oh Happy Day), Do You Love Me and the bullet-ridden narrative of Stagger Lee provided a cataclysmic finale.


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