Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – [Live]

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

I have taken Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds live shows for granted, and I'll be the first to admit it. In fact, the last time I saw him and his band live (aside from the two Grinderman shows here in S.F. well over a year ago) was probably in 1997 or so. But after being blown away by those two amazing nights It finally sunk in that Mr. Cave has become as talented as a performer as he is a songwriter, and I vowed to myself right then and there that I would not miss out on another chance to witness him on stage.

Unfortunately, due to some minor but ultimately resolved issues at the box office, I missed all but the last song of opening band Red Sparrows’ set. But I can tell you that what I did hear was nothing short of fucking epic. These five guys (three guitarists, a bassist and a drummer) created a total flowing wall of sound and were incredibly heavy without being overbearing in the least. And as geeky as it may sound, while standing there taking in the music with my eyes closed I felt like totally sucked in, and for a brief moment was transcending space and time. I really wish I had seen their entire set, and I'm very much looking forward to hearing them again. And if you have never seen Red Sparrows live, I would highly recommend you experience them as well.

As soon as the band hit the stage with a rocking version of "Night of the Lotus Eaters," I knew that I was going to be impressed. Nick and the Bad Seeds were non-stop energy from the first note, and while running from one edge of the stage to the other—sometimes with a tambourine, sometimes stopping for a few quick chords on his keyboard, and sometimes just with arms flailing about—Nick seemed to have even more charisma than usual, and was energetically and sometimes even playfully interacting with both his band and the audience members. As far as The Bad Seeds go they proved that they are some of the most talented musicians around. Mixed in with old classics such as "DeAnna," "Mercy Seat," "Tupelo" and "Red Right Hand" (which Cave simply introduced by saying, "This is a song about the usual stuff") were plenty of songs from the band’s latest album, Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!, including "Today's Lesson," "Moonland" and a pretty damn incredible version of "We Call Upon The Author," complete with guitarist Warren Ellis on his hands and knees with his effects pedals. My personal favorite from the new album, "More News from Nowhere," was a perfect choice to close the set.

After just a few moments Nick and co. returned for an audience participation filled "The Lyre of Orpheus," "Into Your Arms" and what was probably one of my favorite songs of the night, "God Is In The House," which Cave slightly ad-libbed at points. Rocking versions of "Get Ready For Love," "Hard on for Love" and "Stagger Lee" marked the end of the night.

Looking back on this show, I have to say that I still continue to be blown away by both Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds even after all these years, and will not miss them when they return to San Francisco.


Related Articles:
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! [Album Review]

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