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CONCERT REVIEW: San Francisco, Warfield Theatre [18/04/2002] by Matt Print E-mail
Sunday, 13 August 2006

This was my first visit to the Warfield, and I couldn't think of a better way to break it in for me than to see Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, I've been a fan for a while now but had never seen them live. I was incredibly excited to see this enigmatic frontman with an an amazing band backing him up.

After standing in line, attracting the local San Francisco Crack Heads and Former Tennis-Pro's (long story,) The doors were finally opened and we slowly trickled our way past security. My girlfriend and I secured a nice spot just above the main floor which went right up to the stage. I felt I had the best vantage point of anyone from there. I had to admire the interior of the Warfield, it's a very nice looking club.

After about an hour the lights dimmed and out came Kahn and Kid Congo Powers. I don't have much to say about them. I didn't really enjoy their performance or their music. There was one highlight of their show however when they brought a drunken girl on stage and she attempted to dance. It's hard to describe what her "dancing" was like, it was sort of like watching a big bag filled with water wiggle back and forth. After they tired of her trying to restrained herself from falling out of her top, off the stage she went. Eventually they stopped playing and I awaited the real show.

About 30 minutes or so pass and the lights dim once more. The Bad Seeds take the stage followed by Nick Cave, the entire affair is accompanied by a chours of cheers and applaud. Nick Cave looked down at the audience before him and said "Wow, you're really low down there. That's an awful angle." And thus I was validated in my choice of viewing area.

I don't remember the exact set list, but I will say that every song was excellently performed. I have trouble separating the songs, and I prefer to think of it as one cohesive experience, but there were some standout moments. "Red Right Hand" for instance was lit so differently than anything else that I had to take special notice. "As I sat Sadly By her Side," also stood out to me for some reason, it sounded really good live.

That brings me to another point. Before this show I didn't think of "No More Shall We Part" to be one of the best Cave albums out there. Seeing a large portion of the material live however, changed my opinion. Someone at the concert told me that most of that album was sarcastic, but I couldn't see what he meant. When Nick Cave performed "God is in the House," I finally got it. It seemed much more sarcastic, and I enjoyed it much more.

I was surprised with Cave's ability as a showman. The audience was totally with him the entire time. He even had a lounge singer type swagger during the beginning of "Stagger Lee."

I was also surprised by the lighting throughout the evening. I'd have to say it's the best I've seen for a long time. It really stands out and was perfect for each song. It enhanced the mood greatly and at times could even make you notice things about a song you'd never noticed before.

Nick Cave preformed two encores which were both amazing. The entire concert had a huge exclamation point put on it with "Stagger Lee," which really summed up the whole concert for me. Cave was incredible, Blixa was incredible, the rest of the Bad Seeds were perfect. Nick added a new (to me) verse on the end of "Stagger Lee," which was great and added a nice conclusion to the song as well as the evening.

In Conclusion, this is the best concert I've ever seen and I regret the fact that I couldn't go the next day and relive the experience. Everything was just right. This was definitely something that will stick with me for the rest of my life. Or at least until I have my mind wiped clean by aliens.


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