My daughter Jessika and I went to see Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds last Monday (April 22nd) at the Paramount in Seattle. A great evening with Father and Daughter, some quality time, a little bonding experience, yes?
This turned out to easily be among one of the top five shows I've ever seen over the years. Not just because of my daughters company.
So I am trying to come to grips with writing this review, but it is really hard to put into words what it is like to see a cool show without sounding calculated, or using the word "fucking!"
So lets stick with the what happened.
The set list was...
-Do You Love Me
-Oh My Lord
This is where some of the bedlam started as the band fever pitched into a dry retching scream.
-Lime Tree Arbor
-Red Right Hand
Nick casually mentions that "if you don't like your seat, he'll get you a better one" which was immediately followed by a mad riot to crowd the front of the stage
-Fifteen feet of Pure White Snow
It is becoming evident here that Nick sings as good or better in his live shows, than in the studio.
-As I Sat Sadly By Her Side
Mr. Cave now has most of the women in the crowd wishing they could take a number. Many openly crying... perhaps because of his marital status to Model Susie Bick
-We Came Along this Road
-Papa Won't Leave You Henry
A great example of musicianship as it starts of slow and acoustic, building in speed, timbre and ferocity with the band always knowing how to give a little more a little more...
-God Is In The House
-The Ship Song
Complete with swaying and lighters. Also for no extra charge in front of us is this huge long-curly-haired guy wearing a hockey jersey, doing an interpretive dance, somewhat like product models from "The Price is Right".
Which I first thought was "Tupelo". But it dawned on me shortly that this was off of "From Her to Eternity". Was interesting that the band sort of argued about doing this song, which I realized was because they had to de-tune the bass to play it. Another song in which you start to grasp how high a level of musicianship the Bad Seeds have.
Second Encore (after some panicky bass re-tuning by the techs)
-Into your Arms
More women swooning. Interesting that a large number of the crowd was dressed like they would be going to the symphony or the opera. Picture your Aunt Velma, young, wearing a black halter gown with opera gloves, but also having a monochrome tattoo that begins at the back of her neck, over her right shoulder, splits, snaking around one arm, the other part sliding down her back, ending in a continuous piece, peeking from the slit in her dress about mid-thigh. Perfect with pearls.
So, most of the show, Nick is playing the romantic preacher with a bad boy past. Here we find out he is the serial killer at the door of your house, delivering your wife flowers when you're not home. Your wife opens the door, takes the flowers enthusiastically, and he gives a charming smile. This song gets Completely Out of Control.
The coolest thing about this show, was it followed my rules. No talking with the exception of "thank you" and "you're very kind, Seattle". No guitar solos (thank you Blixa!). The sound was pristine from the quiet to the damaging. All songs back to back with no fucking around. The only lag was the bass de-tune thing and the techs messing with stuff between encores.
Whoops, ended up using the word fucking after all.