Listening to: Moonland – Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

I’ve just come back from seeing Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds at the Thebarton Theatre.

Hmm. Nick Cave himself was in fine form – full of energy, Nick Cavey as ever and in excellent voice. (I hope he eventually gets rid of the moustache – it’s not actually that bad, as moustaches go, but it kind of makes him look like Nick Cave’s evil twin brother. Nick Cave, but not Nick Cave. It’s sort of cool, but jarring.)

Anyway, Nick Cave = good. The Bad Seeds? Not so much. I don’t know if it was the shitty acoustics at the Theb or a conscious decision or what, but all we got from them all night was a wall of noise. Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!: wall of noise. Hard On for Love: wall of noise. The Weeping Song: wall of noise. It was unrelenting, and sometimes it fit and sometimes it didn’t. And the few times any sort of musicality was discernible, someone’s guitar was horribly out of tune (Mick Harvey’s, I think). No one onstage seemed especially worried about it (there were shrugs). I guess right now they’re out to prove that they can still rock, and they totally can, but…eh. I kind of love this about them in general, though, these phases they go through (the bluesy ’80s, the scary mid-’90s, the mellow late-’90s, etc.), and I’m excited to see what they’ll sound like next time I see them.

Nick Cave didn’t really interact with the band (apart from the odd comment to/about Warren Ellis, who is his right-hand man since Blixa Bargeld left, I guess) and they didn’t really interact with each other, apart from a few consultations about which song to go with next. It made them pretty uninteresting to watch.

But! They are Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and I still love them.

ETA: Adelaide Now had this review out this morning. It’s pretty accurate – the Bad Seeds looked bored and the newer material was the best material (it’s convinced me to buy Dig!!! Lazarus, Dig!!!, which I hadn’t done yet), apart from “Stagger Lee”, which was the last song of the encore and which they performed brilliantly (complete with light show over the closing screams).

My ears are still ringing!