Note: I wrote this a few days after the gig and forgot to post it. The Bad Seeds show tonight in Vancouver reminded me….
My third Bad Seeds show in just a couple of weeks and I expected this one to be different. Removed from the stately confines of the Sydney Opera House (and its orchestra/child choir accoutrements) Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds treated the Enmore with a little less respect, a little more edge, and it made for a very different live experience.
That said, it was the inclusion of an Opera House-safe Into My Arms (desperately missed at the Opera House shows) that was, perhaps, the moment I will take away from this show. My late introduction into the world of the Bad Seeds meant I actually hadn’t heard that song until six or seven years ago but it has quickly become a song I really love. So hearing Nick play it on piano, accompanied with simple bass and barely-there drums was pretty special.
The other three songs in the set that didn’t turn up at the two shows I saw a couple weeks back were Tupelo (which slayed in the encore), Papa Won’t Leave You, Henry and The Weeping Song. The Weeping Song featured opener Mark Lanegan on vocals and the arrangement was a bit more restrained than how they have played that song in the past. Meanwhile, Papa Won’t Leave You, Henry was an aggressively sweeping highlight.
But it wasn’t just the old stuff that kicked ass. Jubilee Street once again proved to be even better live than on the record (and it’s pretty damn incredible on Push The Sky Away). How a band can get away with playing it second in the set is a testament to how impressive their repertoire truly is.
Another highlight: Nick abusing some dude in the front row for getting a little handsy during Stagger Lee, then singing some of that song’s most venomous lines right at the dude. I think I would have wet myself had Nick directed that vitriol at me.
Overall I think I might have enjoyed this gig more than the ones at the Opera House; it just felt looser and more visceral. It was a bit on the short side, however….
We No Who U R
Wide Lovely Eyes
Higgs Boson Blues
From Her To Eternity
Red Right Hand
God Is In The House
Jack The Ripper
Papa Won’t Leave You, Henry
Into My Arms
The Weeping Song (featuring Mark Lanegan)
The Mercy Seat