Nick Cave can do whatever he wants.
His dark menacing persona and gorgeously sinister baritone have made him untouchable – on pretty much every level — over many years in the music business. But even though he can do whatever he wants, he continues to make great records (this year’s “Push The Sky Away” is excellent), always looks incredibly dapper, and never takes his audience for granted.
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds performed a show for a rapt audience of super fans and thrilled observers as part of KCRW’s Apogee Sessions series last night and it was truly one-of-a-kind. He started the show by soliciting requests. After a barrage of responses, he responded with “we can play all that (pause) but we’re not going to”.
The thing about Nick Cave is you love him best when he doesn’t give you what you want. It’s all about the tease. And the audience was smitten no matter what he did – including asking his band members about the right notes to play and stopping and starting songs throughout the night. It was loose and casual in a great way that made us feel like we were part of something special.
He spent most of the night at the piano, so when we stood up, the energy in the room completely shifted. That’s when he started to sing “Wide Lovely Eyes” only to stop a few minutes in. The crowd moaned, to which he explained that anyone who’s been to a Bad Seeds show has come to expect that there are “songs that just get away. That’s what makes us the Bad Seeds. One in three get away, but that’s better than the Red Hot Chili Peppers”. (He later took that back, saying he liked the Chilis, and replaced it with another Coachella headliner, The Stone Roses.)
The nature of the Bad Seeds explained in one moment – not asking forgiveness whatsoever, just an explanation about how it works with this band.
He finished that song later and treated us to other newbies like “Higgs Boson Blues”, “Mermaids”, “Jubilee Street” and the album’s title track before reaching into his bag of tricks for old favorites like “People Ain’t No Good” from “The Boatman’s Call”, “God Is In the House” from “No More Shall We Part” and the final barn burner, “Jack the Ripper”.
The crowd included Evan Dando, Cold War Kid’s Matt Maust, Z berg (JJamz, The Like) among others. The session, with producer/mixer Bob Clearmountain at the board, will air on Morning Becomes Eclectic on Monday, May 20. Nick didn’t want video, so it will be audio only, BUT if was his first proper radio session in the United States, which is pretty exciting! Check out the set list below.
Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds Live on KCRW
Higgs Boson Blues
Far From Me
Stranger Than Kindness
The Mercy Seat
Wide Lovely Eyes (1/2 song)
No More Shall We Part
Wide Lovely Eyes
Breathless (Few bars only)
God Is In The House
Into My Arms
People Ain’t No Good
Push The Sky Away
Jack The Ripper