Monday, May 16, 2005

Nick Cave, Bad Seeds and random gospel singers

(St James, Auckland, 13 May)

It was looking like being an ugly night. David Kilgour was playing, an acoustic set, and the audience was getting restless and loud. Those who had come in early to stake out a place for the main event became quite aggressive when a big fellow, tall as well as wide, burst into their midst. He made matters worse by trying to have the fellow in front of him pass his empty bottle forward: the Australians around him were saying that Aucklanders don't do that, provoking a long tirade on the fucked-up-ness of Aucklanders, its not like that in Wellington. Plus numerous references to how he'd seen Nick Cave the night before - he even leant on me to tell me so. Then another fellow pushed his way forward, making the first interloper turn on him. Nasty words were spoken, punches were imminent.

Luckily, the lights dimmed, flared, and there was Nick Cave, his four gospel singers and (you know something, I never actually counted them) some Bad Seeds. The audience hushed and, apart from the random calls for songs, were not heard to say another word for the next two hours. For once, I even have playlist goodness:

Abattoir Blues
Messiah Ward
Hiding all Away
Red Right Hand
City of Refuge
Get ready for love
Easy Money
The Weeping Song
Babe, you turn me on
The Mercy Seat
O Children
There she goes, my beautiful world

Encore 1

Come into my sleep
God is in the house
Do you love me?

Encore 2

The Ship Song
Stagger Lee

A couple of nice moments: one audience member yells out "I love you". Nick's response - "I love you too, I love you all". Nice. Then when he's busily singing, can't remember which song, but it was one of the quiter ones, some fool is yelling out for the Ship Song. Nick just drops a new line into his song "Time for you to be silent" and carries on. I don't even know where to begin with the standouts for the night, since pretty much everything was fabulous. I loved the way the audience was SO quiet for the whispered passages of God Is In the House, the way that so many had sung along with the Weeping Song. The strange thing was how Stagger Lee was such a perfect climax to the night that when he finished and the lights came back on, everyone seemed satisfied, there was no expectation that he be pressed for any more songs. And, really, it was a pretty generous performance - he must have been on stage for a good two hours.

I know I went up to Auckland with extremely high expectations - saying that once I've been to a Nick Cave gig, then I'll only need a Tom Waits gig and I'll be happy to die. The thing is - the night met all those expectations and more. The other thjing is - he promised he'd be back, in "about two years". I think I might just go.

One mistake I made - I was wearing a jacket: rather than make a trip to the hotel to drop it off (I still haven't found the coat check at the St James), I figured that since he'd be suited up and dancing, I's be OK doing the same. Bad move - he had the whole stage to prance about on.


Anonymous Kat said...

i have to agree with everything that you said in regards to Friday night. I had a wonderful night and was generally silent thoughout the whole concert due to the shock factor of having Nick cave all of a few feet away from me. Next time do what i did and be right up the front against the barrier and hang your jacket over that. :)

5:20 AM  
Blogger Jessie said...

Sounds like a fantastic night :)

8:56 AM  
Blogger Barry said...

Whoah - small world. I remember seeing you, Katija - I was standing beside a friend of yours (velvet jacket, cap) when he called out your name - and wished I could have been up the front as well, as that's my normal posse. But that last three rows of people before the front - they just would not be breached.

And Jessie - it was. How was your Friday - the interview, I mean? Hope it went well.

1:15 PM  

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