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CONCERT REVIEW: San Francisco, Warfield Theatre [19/04/2002] by Daniel Clarke Print E-mail
Sunday, 13 August 2006

haha. i just saw nick cave and the bad seeds at the warfield. i'm a little drunk, but i'll try to remember what i saw finish 3-1/2 hours ago. i still have the bassline and nick's gutteral screaming in my head from the last song... stagger lee. i have to say i'm a relative newcomer to nick cave, but have had in my possession a live videotape of a birthday party concert in manchester from the early 80s for a long time. i've seen it maybe three or four dozen times and am familiar with the faces in the audience by now. i just recently went online at and found out nick's best hits with the bad seeds and put a cd together for myself (i plan to buy every cd). in any case, i was expecting a subtle, ballad-laden show with an immobile singer perched on a stool. but nick seemed sparked by the ballads. he even looked like he wanted to "rock out" a bit more. he's an incredible song writer, of course. the show started a bit early than i expected and i arrived a song late.!

wanted to skip the opening acts and i tried to sell my 3rd level balcony tickets to get some floor tickets, with no success. the warfield is an old theater with a 3-tier balcony and a fairly large dance floor with tiered floor levels with table-seating. in fact, i was in the very last row of the upper balcony. the worst seat in the house. it was still good enough to feel nick's power and hear the lyrics. near the end of the show, my friend michelle and i went inside to get our first drink (no drinks allowed in the balcony). we had been thrown into the show from the start and mesmerized that we had forgotten about alcohol. after getting the drink, we sauntered downstairs and found an open door that had a perfect view of the middle of the stage. being in a lit doorway facing the stage, we imagined (and it seemed) that nick was often looking our way. in fact, in the end he pointed toward our doorway and after saying 'thank you, you've been terrific,' he said, 'and you too.' we!

magined he meant us. this was after his first encore. many in the milquetoast san francisco crowd started for the exits, but the lights were still on and the diehards were still chanting and a warfield staff member came around and told our security gal (who was guarding our door) that the show was not over. she looked at us and gave us a wink, so we dashed down near the stage for the IMPROBABLY MOVING encore... stagger lee. the bassline is still working me. there are many highlights to mention. nick has such a rhythmic presence and has been on stage for 20+ years that he is just a phenomenon. he doesn't crawl like a lizard and scream and chant like he used to (at least in my video), but he knows when to unleash it now. god is in the house was the first song he started as i sat down and the lyrics were very moving. some of the lyrics were sympathetic to gay people and that brought a rousing cheer from the crowd. he even sang one of the lines in a lisp. the mercy seat started !

a purposefully bad rearrangement that quickly righted itself with a wink and then turned on the crowd with a vengeance. i think blixa bargeld mostly sang weeping song, which was just stunning. in fact, that was the song they were playing when i walked in the front door. i was about to order a drink when i heard it and was angered as i rushed to my seat. anyway, i can go on, and i have. i vow to be front row for both shows next time.


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