State Theatre Dec 11 2014
Nick Cave enters the stage resembling a svelte Count Dracula. He peruses the edge and the front-rows flock to the stages edge as he sings down to them. The Weeping Song is true to its name: a song of loss and sorrow , Cave transports his audience to the theme of this narrative. For a man dressed in a fine tailored suit with slicked back hair, he has moments of the outlaw persona that was more relative to his time with Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds: spitting on the stage and calling an audience member a ‘funny cunt’. He sits at the piano and draws his voice deeper for Red Right Hand – a juxtaposition of musical elegance and comedy as the scene of Jim Carey overloaded with shitty purchases in Dumb and Dumber comes to mind. This is Nick Caves general vibe – a paradox of polished musical genius mixed with larrikin idiosyncrasies.
One of the four band members could be mistaken for a homeless man, with an unkempt beard and sporadic outbursts of jibberish; completely forgivable with the beautiful melodies he creates switching between bass and violin. The wide stage allows the band to be in individual hubs whilst playing together, a multifaceted lair of escapism.
Cave jerks everyone back into reality through some banter over Miley Cyrus and I phones – trivial pop culture references beckons a nostalgia to go back to that other world he’d created. I ducked off to the bar and my prayers are answered when he starts The Ship Song. Red wine covers my toes as I run down the maze of The State Theatre back to the front row. A confusing concept of a ‘front row ticket’ because its obstructed by others standing by the stage who are from rows behind the front. Normal conventions don’t seem to apply to this show, as I am to find out later when I get my hands on a ‘set-list’.
Nonetheless, Cave is a hopeless romantic confessing “you can’t beat that feeling of love music in your chest the best, the best.” The band are awestruck watching on in his piano solo in Love Letter they stand completely still.
The gothica décor of The State Theatre adding to the love drunk vibe of the show. Cave’s shadow is cast on the wall like a Tim Burton cartoon.
All in all Cave is a god, but he is an enigma. Almost too comfortable, he doesn’t feel the need to give his fans what they want. Not playing some of his recognisable classics that would have made the ‘front row ticket’ a little more worth it. After viewing the set-list it was disappointing to see some of the faves neglected.