The rapture of being baptized in Nick Cave sweat is something you can’t fully explain verbally, but if you see this Aussie genius play in whatever project he may be involved with, you’ll have a truly intimate knowledge of the religious zeal in which he inspires in his disciples.
I first experienced Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds when I had a brief fiery fling with this girl and she always seemed to want to play The Firstborn Is Dead when we were alone and intimate, for which I should had foreseen as a omen of our stormy and fleeting liaison. Still, to her it was an almost religious ritual that every time she put it on as she would inevitably go into a somewhat off-putting spiritual trance the moment that needle hit the vinyl.
I ended up seeing Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds play for the first time a couple years later at a music festival and although they only played for about 45 minutes, I finally got it. There is a passion involved with Nick Cave’s performing that you just can’t convey until it first overtakes you, and that inevitably happens when you get up good and close to see him pour out every ounce of energy he has every time he performs.
That was the only time I got to see the Bad Seeds in their heyday, which had started way back in the early 80’s but continued right through the late 90’s. I did miss their brief reunion of sorts in the mid-2000’s, but I had gotten to see his following raw, harder-rocking Grinderman project a couple times, which was also quite awe-inspiring, especially since Cave proved he could actually wail on guitar as much as woo with that uniquely primeval baritone voice and bold piano prayer.
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds at Hammerstein Ballroom, NYC 7/27/14