Let Us Sit Together and Everything will Be Just Fine.

Berkley, California. The Greek Theatre.  June 24,  2017.

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds were set to play with opener Cat Power on this date. I hadn’t heard much of their discography before that night much less seen him in person. With the show starting at 8, we arrived to an amphitheater full of people who were nothing but black at 7:30pm. Little did I know the trip we were set in for. The amount of people who were there once I arrived was staggering. I had always been very fortunate as far as seating when it came to attending concerts. I was always usually at the front except for this time. My seat was quite a ways away so it would be a bit of a different experience for me.

Cat Power took her place on stage around 8:00 PM.  She kept her set short and sweet with a 10 song set list. It was only her by herself and I believe she did a good job holding her own. No one seemed to be really paying attention to her performance despite the fact that she was pouring her heart into these songs. It was disheartening to watch as people were still filing in and talking during her set. Her sound didn’t help her at all with this aspect as it was so soft that she was easily drowned out. While people in front could very easily hear her,  the rest of us up high in the amphitheater  found it a bit more difficult to pick up her sounds. Although Cat Power’s performance could have been stellar, it fell short due to the size of the venue among other things. 

By the time 8:50 rolled around everyone had taken their seats including Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds who were all looking sharp in their matching suits. Opening with the fifth track off Skeleton Tree  “Anthrocene”, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds had pushed a solemn energy into the crowd whom was already being compelled to follow Nick’s every move on stage. They played an expansive set of 18 songs which lasted from 8:50 until 10:50. While Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds hold a voluminous set of albums they did well playing material from each of their works. They played nearly every song off of their newest album Skeleton Tree except for “Rings of Saturn”. Four songs into the set list had me thinking it was the end of the concert  largely due to the energy that they started to omit from the stage. By the time “Jubilee Street” rolled around, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds had produced the intensity of mad men which resulted in an stimulated audience. The fact that he could go from harder songs to such heart breaking songs such as “I Need You” revealed to us his depth as not only a performer but an artist.  Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds weren’t just performing songs, they were performing art. Nick told a compelling story with each song while the Bad Seeds created the setting and background for the story that Cave graced us with. I have never been to another concert where Cave’s energy and control over the audience was matched. One by one, each member of the audience that was in the stands slowly made their way down into the main pit regardless of the fact that is was assigned seating. Sitting there and watching the performance compelled you to slowly make your way down there. That’s exactly what I did too. It only got better once I had made my way down into the pit for Mr. Cave’s three song encore performance. “Stagger Lee”  forced my head into a flurry of ups and downs while “I Need You” compelled tears out of your eyes as you felt the heartbreak and pain that Nick Cave felt for a time. His energy was so momentous that one by one each member of the audience got on stage until there were about 25 -30 people on stage with Mr. Cave. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds took us on an emotional, cinematic journey all through the use of instruments and vocals. It was more than a concert and blew anything I had seen or heard out of the water. It was one that was over too soon and makes me eager to revisit the world of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. 

Nick Cave and the Bad Seed’s Setlist

  1. Anthrocene
  2. Jesus Alone
  3. Magneto
  4. Higgs Boson Blues
  5. From Her to Eternity
  6. Tupelo
  7. Jubilee Street
  8. The Ship Song
  9. Into My Arms
  10. Girl in Amber
  11. I Need You
  12. Red Right Hand
  13. The Mercy Seat
  14. Distant Sky
  15. Skeleton Tree

    Encore:

  16. The Weeping Song
  17. Stagger Lee
  18. Push the Sky Away
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