Oh my. Nick Cave. (My much delayed review)

I had never expected to get to see Nick Cave in concert. Ever.

To be honest, a lot of the musicians I like don’t seem to make it across the pond (or if they do, it’s only to Toronto/NYC/etc.). Seeing PJ Harvey in 2000 was only thanks to her touring as the opening act for U2, for example. And I have yet to see a number of other musicians I’d really like to (Swedish group Kent, for one).

Push-The-Sky-Away-nick-caveBut finally, to my utter delight, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds came to Calgary.

I’m still not quite over the show, and it’s been a week. The new album, Push The Sky Away, is fantastic. I’ve had it on repeat all week. As I said to my friend Karen, who came with me to the show: Nick Cave is up there as one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. He’s as good as Bowie. And for me, that’s saying quite a lot.

He started with the first track from the new album, We No Who U R, and from that moment, I was completely smitten and entranced. Jubilee Street was next, and then the classic Tupelo, and Red Right Hand (which I had stuck in my head for several days afterwards). Interspersed with tracks from the new album were a good selection (most of which I’d heard on his Best Of… album), including The Weeping Song, From Her to Eternity, Into My Arms (beautifully done on piano), and The Mercy Seat (which came to a dramatic climax).

He also played Stagger Lee (probably one of the most recognizable from the Murder Ballads album) and seemed to take great delight in its drama, enunciating the violent swagger and commands of Stagger Lee as he moved across the stage.

The encore was three songs: The Ship Song; Papa Won’t Leave You, Henry; and The Lyre of Orpheus. The Ship Song moved me (as had Into My Arms, earlier), as I remember when I’d first heard it, on a mix tape given to me by a former boyfriend. At that point, I realized that I’d been listening to Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds since I was seventeen. How the time flies.

If I could, I’d turn back the clock and relive June 27th and the entire show. That’s how good it was.

Full Setlist:
We No Who U R
Jubilee Street
Tupelo
Red Right Hand
The Weeping Song
Mermaids
From Her to Eternity
West Country Girl
Into My Arms
God Is in the House
Higgs Boson Blues
The Mercy Seat
Stagger Lee
Push the Sky Away
Encore:
The Ship Song
Papa Won’t Leave You, Henry
The Lyre of Orpheus