Concert Review: Nick Cave, Oct 1, Kool Haus, Toronto

Toronto – I am pretty concerted out right now. Long story short, my friend Nick visited from Edmonton last week to see a bunch of shows – James, Mogwai, My Bloody Valentine, Gemma Hayes, Hot Chip and Nick Cave. I decided to tag along for some of the shows, and man, I might be getting old, but thats a hella lot of concerts to go to. So Wednesday night, I was feeling all tired and grumpy, I threw three INTs in my Madden 09 game (still won though..haha) and the thought of going to the Kool Haus for the third time in a week was about as appealing to me as sitting on a porcupine. However, Nick Cave only comes around once every so often and thus, I said my prayers, drank my milk and ate my vitamins and headed off into the night.

First of all, the Calamari at the Jersey Giant Pub was weak sauce. Seriously. Dry, overcooked and too much batter. If I was a squid, and I died, I would at least want my dead ass carcass to be cooked in a nice proper manner. This chef did lil o’ ten legs no justice in death. Avoid that shit.

Okay, onto the show. Josh always points out that sometimes I write more about the food I eat before the show then the actual show itself. I write that stuff to tell the readers what kind of mood I am in, so they can experience the show from my point of view. Okay, so the show. This was an old crowd. Just like last week at James, there was no ID check and no pat downs at the door. The previous night at Hot Chip (same location), this husky ass woman patted me down so hard I think her palm print is still embedded on my back. So yes, old crowd. I would say the average age for the show tonight was probably 37.5. Grey hair was everywhere, if I was a marketing person for a hair dye company, I would have handed out free samples at the show tonight …you might have gotten new customers. The show was sold out, which I thought was impressive.

The Bad Seeds came on promptly at 10:15, wearing nice suit and outfits and stuff. Totally professional. There were two (!) drumsets, a bassist, keyboardist and a guitarist. However, they all used a variety of instruments thru out the night, so I can’t really label them as just that. There was a guy up there who looked like Rasputin, as well..if Rasputin was wearing a suit. Shortly after, Nick Cave strolled onto the stage to a rather large applause and immediately launched into “Night of the Lotus Eaters”. The Bad Seeds are a solid band, they sounded rather crisp and the timing was perfect for almost everything. The night was off to a good start. I didn’t even feel compelled to pay eight freakin dollars for a beer.

The second song of the set was the hit single off the latest album (and also the album title) – “Dig Lazarus Dig!!”. Now let me tell you – Nick Cave.. that dude has stage presence. He’s a bit manic, a bit menacing and definitely a showman when he’s out there spewing his ferocious lyrics. He’s all over the stage, pointing at fans in the front row, cowering down and singing right in their faces. This is a man that knows how to deliver his lines. I now understand why they sometimes reference it as “The Church of Nick Cave”. That man sings his songs like he’s a reverend. He tells his tales, like a pastor would tell his church about the tales of the lord (think Paul Dano guy did in There Will Be Blood. We were being given a sermon and the crowd was loving it.

The next hour and a half saw Nick Cave going back and forth between his current music (Hold On To Yourself, We Call Upon The Author, Midnight Man, Moonland) and his hits (Weeping Song, Mercy Seat, Deanna, Tupelo, Love Letter, Ship Song, Red Right Hand, Henry Lee). The crowd was mostly there for his older hits, including a sing along to “Red Right Hand”. Nick Cave’s banter with the crowd was one of the highlights of the night. For example, after one song, he threw his towel into the crowd..one song later, he asked for it back, which the fan complied. Then he asked her for her name, and then said “Jessica….Keeper of the Towel”. Through out the night, he would throw the towel and then get it back. A nice touch. “Ship Song” was also a request. I think it was written on a sign that a fan brought in, Nick looked at it and said “I guess we could do that”. For a sold out show in the Kool Haus (which looks more and more like a good Halo 3 multiplayer map), the show felt surprisingly intimate.

All in all an excellent show. The band was tight (allbeit a bit loud at times – two drums!), the new album sounds fantastic live, the older tunes held up and I am 100% sure everyone left the show satisfied.

4.478 / 5

ps. I’m freakin tired of the Kool Haus.

ps. no “Where the Wild Roses Grow” either, but that was expected.

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Posted on by Ricky in Concerts

About Ricky

Britpop lovin Chinaman, consumer of all things irrelevant. Toronto Raptors fan.

9 Responses to Concert Review: Nick Cave, Oct 1, Kool Haus, Toronto

  1. Wade

    ricky, you are a machine.

  2. Ross

    Liked your review, although I will say that I think your age comments are bullshit: if “37.5” is old, then what’s that make you? 11?

    Nick Cave put on one of the best concerts I’ve seen. The first one I ever went to was Springsteen. In 1976. That makes me, uh, younger than Nick Cave, who showed more energy, smarts and showmanship than the boring youngsters who opened for him.

    Age, my friend, isn’t in the hair colour: it’s in ‘tude.

  3. Knifey Spoony

    this was an incredible show, my ears are still ringing. Cant say ive seen a show quite that good in years..wow. Im thinking the keeper of the towel was Jennifer..long live Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.

  4. Nick

    Great show, and a great review. Fun fact: “Rasputin” is Warren Ellis, the dude who composes along with Nick Cave and also plays in the Dirty Three. Very talented guy, even with the Rip Van Winkle beard.

  5. josh

    Oh Deanna……..

  6. Zombie

    Ross – It’s kind of bittersweet to me that, for the most part, the only musicians out there that are doing consistently doing good work both album-wise AND live are those of them that have been around a while.

    I think it has something to do with the climate of the industry when they first started doing their thing. Not so long ago, if you weren’t a consummate professional that got out there and really nailed it every night on stage, your chances of surviving weren’t all that good. You couldn’t skate by on just being “okay,” because with no Internet to put your music video on, no cheap mp3 downloads to help you sell records, and no P2P sharing, you had to be great.

    I think this is doubly true for even older acts – the best shows I’ve ever seen have been from people like Leonard Cohen, Stevie Nicks, and Morris Day and the Time. Even though the climate has changed, these people are still getting out there and doing what they were trained to do.

    I’m actually working on an essay about this to go with my review of the Kool Haus show (I linked it in my info there, if anyone’s interested), because Cave & Company’s Grinderman debut album is all about this subject.

    Haha, I just hijacked the comments here – sorry ’bout that, Ricky!

  7. Lady J

    The Keeper of the Towel’s name was actually Jennifer, not Jessica. :)

  8. Jennifer

    My name is Jennifer. I was the keeper of the towel. It was Jennifer.

    No hard feelings though!

  9. Ricky

    sorry jennifer..my name memory is not the greatest.

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