Review – Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds at Vogue Theatre, Vancouver April 6 2013
– review and photos by Christine Redmond
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds on tour with their 2012 release Push The Sky at the Vogue Theatre, Vancouver, Saturday night.
Rumour has it that last time Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds played Vancouver, the iconic front man was hit by a shoe thrown from the crowd. That was almost twenty years ago. While on tour with Grinderman in Vancouver in 2010 a red ballet pump was flung on stage in an attempt to bury the hatchet. This strange but fitting peace offering seemed to do the trick – Cave and his band were back to play a sold-out show at Vogue Theatre Saturday night.
Debonair as ever, in a pristine suit and slicked-back hair, Cave was welcomed by an excitable, cheering crowd as he and the Bad Seeds launched straight into newest material from their latest album Push The Sky. The opening set of “We No Who U R”, “Jubilee Street” “Lovely Wide Eyes” and “Higgs Boson Blues” was met with a seeming familiarity among the crowd.
Watching Cave onstage is a hypnotizing experience. His voice, his moves, his persona, it’s all so cryptic: is he a singer? A healer? A preacher? A cult leader? A sex god? The hysteria among the crowd as he bent down to touch their hands and pat their heads was infectious; you know you’re in the presence of greatness when you see grown men swoon.
But the frontman wasn’t the only one igniting the room; the Bad Seeds played their part as well. Their movements and just sheer volume were a force to be reckoned with. Behind a menagerie of instruments, Warren Ellis struck some captivating and often demonic-looking poses. Dramatic shadows and atmospheric lighting added to to the wild and unearthly spectacle; Cave brought the lyrics of “Red Right Hand” to life under eerie red lights while spitting, “He’s a god, he’s a man, he’s a ghost, he’s a guru”.
“Deanna, “Jack The Ripper”, “The Weeping Song” and “Stagger Lee” were met with the loudest applause. From harmonicas to necklaces – and even one woman who jumped on stage to plant a kiss on the star’s lips – Cave was met with nothing but admiration.
For this writer, the highlight of the show was not the chilling and mesmerizing performance by Cave but the adoration and respect from his followers. During the slower numbers you cold almost hear the hearts beating in the room. The atmosphere was everything. The smiles and tears among the crowd illustrated the significance of the night; it was the kind of show that will be cherished for another 20 years
Set list – Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds at the Vogue Theatre, April 6 2013:
We No Who U R
Wide Lovely Eyes
Higgs Boson Blues
From Her to Eternity
Red Right Hand
Stranger than Kindness
Jack the Ripper
Papa Won’t Leave You, Henry
Into My Arms
Darker With the Day
The Weeping Song
The Mercy Seat
Push the Sky Away