Fewer artists have been more prolific than Nick Cave in the last few years. New album ‘Push The Sky Away’ is set to indicate a new artistic direction for the Australian and his mates, The Bad Seeds. A short series of four world premieres were set up to showcase the new material, consisting of soldout shows at exclusive locations.
We don’t know what kind of dark history the Admiralspalast in the Friedrichstrasse holds, but it is a fantastic location for theatrical infused artists such as Nick Cave to perform at. No more than 2000 fit in this space, yet it seems the Germans always take it easy when it comes to concerts, no matter how exclusive. While many visitors still lingered at the bar we were offered the screening of a short film on the making of ‘Push The Sky Away’. We must say it was rather disappointing. Yes, the whole idea of having a rare look into the very personal and delicate process which is Nick Cave writing his lyrics, seems appealing. Yet, the film never ever forecasted the vast quality this new record holds, musically speaking.
Luckily, there was a concert to prove that. Indeed, Cave and his men did nothing else but bring a song-by-song live version of ‘Push The Sky Away’, complete with kiddie choir (in Cave’s words), strings and other guests. The performance was nearly immaculate, but Cave strategically put a series of exquisite highlights throughout the first half of his set, more specifically upgrading three songs. ‘Jubilee Street’, an instant classic even without having the album out for sale, grew toward a mesmerizing climax, in which Cave became one with the audience. He by the way commuted between stage and front rows throughout the whole night.
Our personal favorite, however, is ‘Higgs Boson Blues’. Lyrically, this might be Cave’s best work yet, and when performing it live, the singer transforms into some sort of atheist preacher. Whoever was religious when entering the Admiralspalast last Wednesday night, now isn’t. ‘Finishing Jubilee Street’, an awkward yet inviting and calmed appendix to the new album’s main hit, also offerend a different perspective vis-a-vis the recorded version. Other than that, we only saw confirmed what we suspected: ‘Push The Sky Away’ already is one of the best albums of 2013.
Logic demands a second part. And yes, we also got that. However, the delicate and gentle art of setlist building had at that point been hugely disrespected by Cave and The Seeds. The choice to break the concert up into two very clear and destinguishable parts is obviously functional in terms of presenting a new album live and exclusively (although we were also part of a radio broadcast during the first hour). Yet, it is clear this series of concerts really has a mere marketing motive rather than being the perfect gift for diehard Nick Cave fans.
They (the fans) got value for their money, though. Dark classics such as ‘From Her to Eternity’ together with the Berlin-inspired duo ‘Love Letter’ and ‘Your Funeral… my Trial’, made sure most of us went home satisfied. Still, even after appearing in the form of Satan himself during the traditionally badass closing act called ‘Stagger Lee’, we were left with a hole to fill. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds accomplished the mission of convincing us the new album is not just good, but absolutely brilliant. By doing that, they simply contrasted the new material with the more traditional and cliché songs most people would recognize as quintessential Nick Cave.
This contrast left us with a clear conclusion: Nick Cave is not only the leading soundtrack provider for Outback Westerns, but has simply become probably the best songwriter in the English spoken world. The aforementioned hole can luckily be filled up during the forthcoming world tour. “Don’t miss it” is all we can say.
Skylinereviews.com reports from Berlin.
SkylineReviews_English is a first for this -normally- Dutch-written website. We are based in Belgium, but international-minded.
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
13 February 2013
Live Admiralspalast, Berlin, Germany
Broadcast date: 13 February 2013 (live)
Broadcast station 01-12: radio 1, Germany
Broadcast station 13-18: radio 3, Spain
This is the complete broadcast but not the complete performance.
Lineage 01-12: FM broadcast> cable FM> Technics SA-EX140> Olympus LS-5> PCM 44,1khz/16bit> cd wave> track splitting> traders little helper> FLAC (level8)
Lineage 13-18: FM broadcast> DVB-T> Topfield 5400> MPEG Streamclip> PCM 44,1khz/16bit> Amadeus Pro> track splitting> FLAC (level8)
01 - We No Who U R
02 - Wide Lovely Eyes
03 - WaterÕs Edge
04 - Jubilee Street
05 - Mermaids
06 - We Real Cool
07 - Finishing Jubilee Street
08 - Higgs Boson Blues
09 - Push The Sky Away
10 - From Her To Eternity
11 - O Children
12 - The Ship Song
13 - Jack The Ripper
14 - Deanna
15 - Love Letter
16 - Your Funeral My Trial
17 - The Mercy Seat
18 - Stagger Lee
Nick Cave: vocals, keyboards, guitar
Warren Ellis: violin, mandolin, guitar, vocals
Ed Kuepper: Guitar
Barry Adamson: guitar, bass, keyboards
Conway Savage: keyboards, vocals
Martyn P. Casey: bass
Jim Sclavunos: drums, percussion
01-12: Captured and seeded at dime by _volta_
13-18: Captured and shared by kigonjiro
Tagged by kigonjiro with Media Rage
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