Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds - The Fonda Theater - 2/21/13
Cave slowly dismissed people from the stage, first the kid's choir ("Just don't steal the headphones") then the backing singers, then the string section. He sat at the piano for one last ballad, "Love Letter," and then ended the regular set with "The Mercy Seat," again having wound us up and offered release. Between the set and the encore, one of the kids from the choir, probably about 11, ran up behind me to reclaim her mother.
When the encore came, it was the controlled violence of Cave's most profane song of all, "Stagger Lee," a song in which the main word is "motherfucker" and the lyrics tend towards "I'd crawl over fifty good pussies to get to one fat boy's asshole." The eleven year old behind me was agog. We all were.
Personal bias: As a 13-year old Australian, one night at midnight I came across a Nick Cave special on television. The fact that he was my countryman, and so dark and totally in control of the sacred profanity I felt in my soul but couldn't express changed me -- my musical taste, my everything. Last year I met him, smoking a cigarette outside a bar in Atlanta. "We share a homeland," I said. "Oh yeah? How long have you been gone?" he asked. "20 years." "It's almost 30 for me," he said, then went inside. I've been writing a novel in my head titled Things I Should Have Said To Nick Cave ever since.
The Crowd: Who knew so many 40 year olds still put on the white makeup and wear oxblood Doc Martins?
Random notebook dump: Billy Idol watched from a perch above the VIP bar, looking kind of perplexed but grinning wildly at the relentless "motherfucker"s at the end. Casey Affleck cut me off in the beer line.