Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

Nick Cave Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

23 November 2004
Heineken Music Hall, Amsterdam

Abattoir Blues / The Lyre of Orpheus Only one year after his previous concert in Amsterdam, Nick Cave and his Bad Seeds returned to the Dutch capitol. Again they played in the (sold-out) Heineken Music Hall. But this time things were different. Cave did not offer the crowd a greatest hits show like the previous time. For an hour, until the encores, the band only played material from the recent (strong) double album Abattoir Blues / The lyre of Orpheus. Engergetic rock tracks like ‘Nature boy’ and ‘There she goes my beautiful world’ were alternated with slow moody songs like ‘Carry me’ and ‘Easy money’. Some of the tracks of ‘Abattoir Blues’ are a little too hectic and chaotic for me, but overall the material is of a high standard. During the concert I especially liked the dynamics, the mixture of hard and soft parts.

The Bad Seeds were enforced by an inspired four-piece choir, who gave some songs a clear gospel sauce, while Cave was driving out his personal devils. Part of the audience was relieved when the band returned after a short pause to play a great ‘Red right hand’, followed by other classics as ‘Deanna’, ‘The weeping song’ and a powerful ‘Stagger lee’. During the encore ‘God is in the House’ I almost felt like being in the church. The concert was finsished with the highly anticipated ‘The mercy seat’.

Perhaps people who were not familiar with or who don’t appreciate the last album very much, could be disappointed by the clear focus on the new material. Personally I like many of the new songs, and live they received an extra dimension. Cave again proved to be a great energetic performer, who has (despite the departure of Blixa Bargeld) assembled some fine musicans around him. Together this band gave a powerful performance. Their average age may not be 20, but they still sound hungry and inspired.

By the way, support act Mercury Rev was also rather good, especially for a support act.