Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds

Photos by Megan Moss

Photos by Megan Moss

By Megan Moss

Date / Venue: Wednesday January 18th, 2017 - Vector Arena, Auckland

Nick and band, The Bad Seeds (Warren Ellis (violin, guitar, piano), George Vjestica (guitar) Martyn P Casey (bass), Conway Savage (keyboards),  Thomas Wydler (drums), Jim Sclavunos (percussion), and Toby Dammit, (keys) are intoxicating to behold live….what a treat it is to be amongst the audience tonight at Vector Arena in Auckland.

Nick Cave; A truly gifted musician exudes Class, Crass, Swagger, Sophistication, Dedication, Darkness and Softness all in a moment… I could go on & on like this ….pretty sure you get the picture.

Around 8pm Nick & Band took the stage, the crowd hushed as Nicks deep dark rich voice resonated throughout the arena, like many I’m sure; I settled in letting his particular poison I find ever so enthralling just wash over me, take me to that place that only Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds can take you; it’s a little bit Lurid and a little bit treacherous;  the audience looked to do the same.

With a burst of light, sound, colour & volume….yes we like volume… Nick quickly moved on to the next song and the next captivating us all, the faces in the crowd were enthralled, the audience seemed to be simmering & pulsing; and we were drawn further and further under his spell !

With a wide armed flourishing gait, Nick swoops from side to side of the stage, then stepping down right to his audience we were treated to song after song for nearly 2 hours.  Nick looms over the audience casting shadows on the wall creating an almost mythical vision of Dionysian while the band are (mostly) kept in check by musical genius Warren Ellis. The band, insanely talented musicians are making crazy sounds that crunch and grind at your senses …yet are so beautiful.

With the audience gathered in close for the entirety of the show, Nick connects on such a personal level by grasping their hands singing directly to them asking “can they feel his heartbeat…”? When someone from a few rows back held out what looked to be a blind persons walking cane, he grasped that too ensuring the person was brought up to the front.  This connection with the audience was the highlight of my night and mesmerising to behold; more on this soon!

We were taken on a journey a little bit backwards and forwards in time and were pulled and jolted in and out and around, always in a good way and I was enthralled by the set list. Sometimes Nick would jump on the piano play only two or three notes and then he was in the crowd again Warren looked like a mad scientist from a 1930’s movie violin in hand jumping around, the pure dynamic energy between Nick and the band is incomparable.

Sadly, before I knew after The Mercy Seat, Nick announced that the show was over, thanked the audience and left the stage, the audience of course wanted more and thankfully we really did get more. It was in this encore that my favourite moment of the night happened, Nick had called out for requests; many songs were called out….as my husband and I yelled for Stagger Lee, Nick asked “Anyone want to hear Stagger Lee?  Alright we’ll crank it out another couple of fucken years!”   The audience went mad and a truly spectacular performance that could not have been performed or choregraphed better occurred; the song was half over, Nick Looming over the crowd grasping hands all around him, a little farther back in the audience a young lady is bolstered on someone’s shoulders, swaying arms open to nick like in a trance….Nick sees her….WAIT the song ends, he turns to his band they start playing where they left off….Nick beckons the young lady forward, his arms are open, held by magic crowd hands she is pushed right up to Nick, she lays back over the crowd then she sits up basking in all that is Nick Cave who sings right at her & over the top of her the fever and intensity in the air was incredible.  I have never witnessed anything like this at any other concert, mesmerising !

Only one who has seen a Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds show can truly understand the shambolic genius nature of their performances it is gloriously ethereal and sombre yet dirty and dignified. I have never experienced a live performance quite like Nick Cave, and find his performances so descriptive you JUST FEEL IT in every one of your senses…last night was no different. I am unsure any concert this year will hold up to this one.

A truly spectacular EVENT.

Thank-you Mr Cave and your band, it was a pleasure to see you again, Thank-you all come back to New Zealand real soon.

Megan Moss

Setlist

Anthrocene
Jesus Alone
Magneto
Higgs Boson Blues
From Her To Eternity
Tupelo
Jubilee Street
The Ship Song
Into My Arms
Girl In Amber
I Need You
Red Right Hand
The Mercy Seat
Distant Sky
Skeleton Tree
People Ain’t No Good
Jack The Ripper
Nobody’s Baby Now
Stagger Lee
Push The Sky Away

 

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