Nick Cave at the Beacon Theatre

Nick Cave

Nick Cave is one of the most highly regarded artists of his generation. With a diverse range of work spanning from loud rock and roll songs birthed while he was the frontman of the 80’s post-punk band The Birthday Party to the much more mellow–but somehow still edgy–albums he has recently released with Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, the only thing predictable about Nick Cave is the quality of his work.

While on a recent trip to New York I happened to see an Instagram post noting that he was in NYC. I checked his tour, and to my pleasant surprise, he was performing that very evening. I bought tickets, and went to the show.

The Beacon Theatre is beautiful and was the perfect stage. As you can see, the average age of the crowd was probably in their 40’s, although there was a small but notable contingent of those in their 20’s there.

Even though we had great seats, the crowd stood up for most of the show, making it impossible to see while sitting down. I didn’t mind, but I thought this shot was cool.

Nick Cave started off the show by inviting a young boy on stage to help him sing Anthrocene, from his newest album Skeleton Tree.

nick cave

Nick Cave was in top form, but I can’t help but feel that his Push The Sky Away tour was superior–mostly because I think Push The Sky Away is a better album than Skeleton Tree, which was played almost in entirety. Surprisingly, they failed to play Rings of Saturn, the single, which I would’ve enjoyed seeing live.

nick cave

The last time I saw him he also played a few more songs from The Boatman’s Call, which is another of my favorite albums. Basically, like any fan who prefers different songs, I can say it was a strong performance that could’ve been even stronger if they would’ve played more of my favorite songs. (Ha)

Nick Cave remains one of the most interesting and accomplished artists in modern music, and I’m glad I went.

Meeting Davey Havok/New York is awesome

As I left the concert, I saw someone who looked familiar, with tattoos all over his arms. I walked up, my mind blanking, and asked, “Are you the singer in…. that band?” He smiled and said, “let’s see which band you’re talking about.” After a few seconds, it came to me. AFI. And he was. Davey Havok, which has got to be the most hardcore name ever. He was very nice and we talked for a little while about his own music and Nick Cave.

The whole thing really reinforced why New York is a great city. I didn’t even intend on seeing Nick Cave–I didn’t even know he was performing until a few hours before the concert. So much is happening in New York… It’s just mind boggling.

We left the show and fireworks were exploding over central park. It was a great ending to a great evening.

Setlist

Anthrocene, Jesus Alone, Magneto, Higgs Boson Blues, From Her to Eternity, Tupelo, Jubilee Street, The Ship Song, Love Letter, Girl in Amber, I Need You, Red Right Hand, The Mercy Seat, Distant Sky, Skeleton Tree, The Weeping Song, Stagger Lee, Push the Sky Away

For the uninitiated….

If you haven’t listened to Nick Cave before, here is a selection of his work. It’s by no means comprehensive, and, to be honest, it doesn’t even reflect the full breadth and depth of his work. But you have to start somewhere…

Here’s his most recent single, Rings of Saturn, on Colbert.

A classic from his album The Boatman’s Call. 

Higgs Boson Blues. This song is totally insane and is something you have got to hear. The storytelling is epic, the delivery is amazing, the video is chilling and enticing.

If you made it this far, you might want to read The Comfort of Conformity.

 

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