Saturday, April 06, 2013

Welcome to Vancouver, Mr. Cave

I was at Lollapalooza when Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds last played Vancouver, back in the 1990's. I was manning a friend's booth, and missed Green Day and the Beastie Boys and even Funkadelic, but I went up front to see Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, the one band in the lineup I followed religiously at that point. The crowd was lukewarm on him - there were obvious, cheering fans (like me), but there were people who didn't get it, didn't like it, didn't even respect it, like the idiot who pelted Cave with a shoe during "Your Funeral My Trial," which brought an abrupt end to things. Such occurrences limit how much anyone can get into a concert; part of the joy of seeing live music is being part of a communal experience with people who like the band as much as you do, and the capacity of assholes to ruin an experience at a festival is one reason I've since mostly avoided Lollapalooza-type events ever since (I remember shoes thrown at Henry Rollins at my previous Lollapalooza, come to think of it). Worse, the less-than-welcoming, less-than-civil vibe of the audience that sunny afternoon wasn't the only thing that left me with mixed feelings: I also remember being disappointed that Cave altered the lyrics to "Papa Won't Leave You Henry," omitting the "warm arterial spray" of the studio version, for reasons unknown to me (to date it is the only song I know of to mention arterial spray - though perhaps if I pored closely over a few Cannibal Corpse lyric sheets I'd find others...?). I suppose this seems absurd, but, corny as it might be, I always really liked the bloodthirstiness of that lyric... It was kinda like seeing Leonard Cohen replace "crack and anal sex" with "speed and careless sex" when singing "The Future"...

Anyhow, much as I've enjoyed Cave's music over the years, for reasons I cannot recall - perhaps having something to do with the Lollapalooza experience, I skipped the Commodore Grinderman show a couple of years ago, and kicked myself for weeks afterwards when I heard/ read what people had to say about it. When it was first announced, I spent a good day or two contemplating buying tickets for the sold out Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds show that's happening tonight at the Vogue, but I have yet to hear a song off the new album that I really like, and simply couldn't convince myself, especially in a time of limited resources, both financially and in terms of stamina, that I would enjoy the experience. Perhaps I'll be kicking myself again, once I read the reviews of the show...? Recent setlists have included a few of my all-time favourite Cave songs ("The Mercy Seat," "Tupelo," "Red Right Hand," "Jack The Ripper"); at least a few of them were not on the setlists that I read when contemplating buying a ticket, or I probably would have bit the bullet (I remember thinking, "ah, he's not even playing 'Tupelo' "...and now that I see that he *is*, I wince).

Anyhow, my respect to Nick Cave, and my envy and well-wishings to those who are getting to see him this time round! (I wonder what touring band, at this point, could force me to undergo the expense and inconvenience of an overnight stay in the city? Arkona nearly did, but then got cancelled. Short of a show by the Flesheaters, or Saccharine Trust, or Borbetomagus, or Rocket From The Tombs, or anything involving Tad Doyle, or Peter Stampfel, or Gary Floyd... or maybe a Spores reunion... I dunno that I'll be seeing many concerts in 2013...).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

it was a can they hit him with. I was right up front.