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CONCERT REVIEW: Cirkus, Stockholm [18/04/2001] by Stefan Englund Print E-mail
Sunday, 13 August 2006

The second show of the european tour, and the second show in Stockholm. Me and my girlfriend arrived by bus to "Cirkus" at 18.30. Not many had showed up by then and at 19.00 when they let us in it was no match to grab a front row spot. The first thing that struck me was how close you got. It was about on meter to the edge of the stage from where I stood. Anyway, after a bit of waiting the support, Simon Breed, entered at 19.25, five minutes early. They played, I think, four songs or for about an half and hour. Of course it's hard to play before such an act as Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, but, they were, in my humble opinion, pretty boring. After another bit of waiting and chatting with the other front rowers the lights dimmed again around 20.30...

Through cascades of applause, aged but ever so handsome, Mr Nick Cave entered the stage along with his bad seeds. He wore a dark grey tight suit (the man is very thin!) with a dark tie with a pattern of small squares on it. This tells something about how very close the frontrow was to the man. He was close enough to touch, which I by respect and the fact that I am a man closing in on my mid-twenties, did not, although a lot of other people did try. I could not have had a better spot. Mick Harvey stood on the left the entire set. Blixa on the far right. I have no idea what Blixa had been drinking the night before but he looked so very tired behind his blue sunglasses. He stood there like frozen the entire night with a glass of red wine on the amp. Wydler kept naturally in the back behind his drums aside with Casey and Warren Ellis. Which, by the way, almost stole the show at times with his energetic violin madness. He is awesome. Conway Savage sat at the keyboard to the left of!

Blixa giving up his seat for Mr Cave on a few songs. The backgroud singers from the "No More Shall We Part" recording, Kate & Anna McGarrigle, were missing.

They started right away, after a quick -"Hello" from Mr Cave, into "As I Sat Sadly By Her Side" skipping the intro. It was then it almost shocked me how very close we stood in the front row. It was almost eerie at times having his shouting right in our faces as he spent a large part of the concert walking about in the centre front of the stage. Nick Cave looked raw, energetic and very handsome, striding about on stage, chainsmoking and knocking his little stool and table over with the microphone cord, which he seemed a bit irritated about at times when it got stuck in the speakers everywhere. We also saw a lot of dancing by Cave, kind of like in the Stagger Lee video. Not very pretty if anyone else did it, but he gets away with it through charisma and the fact that he looked so fucking tough all night. Everyone except Savage amd Wydler smoked throughout the entire set whenever they could in the non-smoking facility that is "cirkus", but magically it did not spread to the audience.

I saw people standing in the audience with the cigarette packs but I did not see a single one lit. Ellis was awesome, playing his violin till strings burst on his bow, kicking and hopping about in the back. I think he could have had a spot closer to the front of the stage as he is quite a show. A few songs into the set, backprojection (or just some clever lighting),
kicked in behind the seeds and during "Red Right Hand", red lights lit, naturally. The sound was good, although the organ did not feel loud enough on songs like "Red Right Hand", on which it should be loud and spooky. The only thing that really bugged me is that cameras was totally banned. If you had a cam showing up front, guards took it from you instantly. Having such a great spot and not being able to take photos (although I brought a camera) is a bit irritating. Kodak moments all to hell. In opposition to Blixa, Mr Cave seemed in a good mood that night. Although he did not talk to the audience much (except for "The Strindberg incident" mentioned below), he and the bad seeds delievered a hell of a concert not leaving many with total satisfaction.

Do You Love Me?
Papa Won't Leave You, Henry
The Sorrowful Wife (The later part of the song, so energetic!)
Oh My Lord (Raw and energetic showmanship by Cave and Ellis!)
Fifteen Feet Of Pure White Snow

Into My Arms
Lime Tree Arbour
The Sorrowful Wife (The first part of the song, so beautiful!)
Love Letter

Between two songs he looked at some guy in the audience, looked long and hard, pointed at him and said "That guy over there looks just like Strindberg... It's spooky!". Continued to point and then showed Warren Ellis which also came forward, looked and pointed. Brought many laughters to the crowd.

A guy standing behind me, (which by the way shouted like an idiot the entire set) had brought a poem he had written to Nick, in a book, which he held up over his head for a couple of songs. When Nick noticed it, he asked -"What is that?", the guy replied something like "It's for you Mr. Nick Cave!" and Nick nabbed the book out of his hands and started to read... or should I say, look at it, for a long while. He then says into the microphone... -"It's in swedish!" and then in a ironic tone -"...But I'm sure it's good..."

Some guy in the back of the hall shouting -"DEANNA! DEANNA!" a ridicilous amount of times. At first Nick Cave, and I guess a lot of the audience up front, didn't hear what he was shouting and said -"Come again...?" and after a few more growling -"DEANNA!"'s he heard it and answered with a plain -"No". The guy in the back then continued throughout the concert between every other song, shouting his -"DEANNA!" giving Mr Cave a smile on his face a couple of times. Later in the concert, I think it was just before the first encore, "God Is In The House", Cave sat down at the keyboard and heard another -"DEANNA!" from the same guy. He then said -"I would if I knew it. I just do not remember" on which Mick Harvey started to play the intro of "Deanna" but stopped after a few bars. "He knows it though! He's that kind of a guy" Nick Cave then replied.

Cave grabbing a silvery "wand" from one in the audience during "Do You Love Me?", waving it to the beat during the chorus and then returning it. Do we love you? Well, yes we do.

In the middle of a song, Conway Savage playing a single piano note with a very strange ring to it, as if the modulation on the keyboard was set to a maximum, giving Mr Cave a confused smile on his face looking at him.

At the end of "The Weeping Song" Cave rubbed his back on Blixas shoulder just like in the video where they dance and look like (Cave's words:) "Two homosexual buisnessmen going to a disco".


(I tried to remember and ask others that had been there but I guess most people, including myself, got too caught up in the music to try and remember the setlist-order... Here's the correct songs anyway...)
As I Sat Sadly By Her Side
Do You Love Me?
The Sorrowful Wife
The Weeping Song
Lime Tree Arbour
Fifteen Feet Of Pure White Snow
Oh My Lord
Papa Won't Leave You, Henry
Red Right Hand
Love Letter
The Mercy Seat
We Came Along This Road
Long Time Man
God Is In The House
No More Shall We part
Into My Arms


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