Posted in music | pictures on June 23, 2014

words by James Richards, photos by Joshua Ford

Nick Cave

Kansas City's Midland theatre hosted Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds Wednesday night (6/18). Warpaint opened the show with a solid set of their post-punk influenced psych-rock and what seemed like two hundred feet of rope lights.

Then came Cave dressed in a blue suit and unbuttoned shirt--Neil Diamond on speed with the bearded Bad Seeds in tow. They opened with "We No Who U R" and wasted no time upping the energy on a rocked out version of "Jubilee Street" that saw Cave dance from one end of the stage to the other, and then move behind the piano for a few measures before bouncing up toward the front again, whipping the mic chord behind him like the tail of a caged panther.

During "Tupelo", Cave paced with intense eyes fixed on his congregation, pointing and holding out his hands only to recoil before someone could grab them--a weird foreplay the singer kept with the audience throughout the night. At one point in the song, he descended into the crowd and they pulled at him and lifted him up and his pale hairless chest shown in the spotlight while endless cell phones flashed in the theatre.

The set continued to build intensity through "Red Right Hand" and "Mermaids" on into a violent rendition of "From Her to Eternity" where Cave went into attack mode, slapping the audience's hands away and screaming the chorus. The first half of the set culminated in a soaring version of "The Weeping Song."

While the band reloaded, Cave went solo at the piano for "Into my Arms," "God is in the House," and "The Ship Song."

Nick Cave

When the Bad Seeds rejoined--phasers set to kill--they ratcheted up the horsepower on the slow burner "Higgs Boson Blues" and an acoustic-driven "Mercy Seat." "Stagger Lee" followed and, while looser and less noisy, the tune managed to maintain the funky menace of the record. Midway through the tune, Cave's gaze, full of seductive vehemence, zeroed in on a heavyset gentleman as he sang, "I'll crawl over fifty pussies just to get to one fat boy's asshole." People cheered while Cave serenaded the man for several verses and the fan pressed forward and reached up like a proselyte at a tent revival.

The closer "Push the Sky Away" came too soon and left the crowd hungry for more. They performed "Papa Won't Leave You, Henry" for an encore. As the song ended, the Bad Seeds looked ready to soldier on, but a spent Cave abruptly dropped the mic and exited the stage.

The band may not have reached too far into their catalog, but the set was tight and scorching. Cave and company show no signs of slowing down.

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds are on tour now, a tour that includes concerts and film screenings and three NYC events, two of which are still on sale.

More pictures and the setlist from Kansas City, below...

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Nick Cave

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SETLIST
We No Who U R
Jubilee Street
Tupelo
Red Right Hand
Mermaids
From Her to Eternity
The Weeping Song
Into My Arms
God Is in the House
The Ship Song
Higgs Boson Blues
The Mercy Seat
Stagger Lee (Fred Waring & His Pennsylvanians cover)
Push the Sky Away

Encore:
Papa Won't Leave You, Henry

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Comments (28)

Should I cave and pick up a ticket for the NY show? Does anyone have some seed money they can offer me?

Posted by Anonymous | June 23, 2014 11:45 AM

OMG she is touching him. that is NEVER OK people

Posted by Anonymous | June 23, 2014 11:46 AM

Cave & Co. eviscerate anyone else performing today. If this show is coming near you, do yourself a favor and pony up the coin. You won't regret it.

Posted by Anonymous | June 23, 2014 12:07 PM

Nick Cave is so awful. It's like people are collectively delusional about him. The hype is so relentless and ubiquitous, everyone loses their own ability to judge in the face of it.

Posted by Anonymous | June 23, 2014 12:09 PM

I believe the last comment was actually referring to obama.

Posted by Anonymous | June 23, 2014 12:20 PM

12:09 - Proof positive that you have never seen Nick Cave live. Please take your ignorance elsewhere troll.

Posted by Anonymous | June 23, 2014 12:26 PM

Grammar Guy...

"Midway through the tune, Cave's gaze, full of seductive vehemence, zeroed in on a heavyset gentleman as he sang, "I'll crawl over fifty pussies just to get to one fat boy's asshole." People cheered while Cave serenaded the man for several verses and the fan pressed forward and reached up like a proselyte at a tent revival."

Not a bad couple of sentences and what a moment for the husky gent as well! Wow.

Posted by Mr. Foot Fetish | June 23, 2014 12:27 PM

Or hummus

Posted by Anonymous | June 23, 2014 12:27 PM

I believe that comment takes its second sentence as granted for the second clause in its third sentence. Baseless.

Posted by anonymous | June 23, 2014 12:28 PM

ABOVE ME

I see your point. I got caught up in the moment between Cave and the fat man.

Posted by Mr. Foot Fetish | June 23, 2014 12:32 PM

12:26 anyone who doesn't like Nick Cave is an ignorant troll. Tyrannical much?

Posted by Anonymous | June 23, 2014 12:36 PM

She/he wasn't being tyrannical. They were simply pointing out what has been stated above insomuch as Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds are an amazing live show. Got that, sweet cakes?

Posted by Anonymous | June 23, 2014 1:43 PM

12:20 Amen

Posted by Anonymous | June 23, 2014 2:23 PM

2:23 You're a cunt.

Posted by Anonymous | June 23, 2014 2:39 PM

but you are what you eat, asshole (aka 2:39)

AMIRITE

Posted by Anonymous | June 23, 2014 3:11 PM

setlist doesnt look too hot...same as last time

Posted by Anonymous | June 23, 2014 3:12 PM

why didn't KC Vegan cover this?

Posted by Anonymous | June 23, 2014 3:28 PM

KC Vegan, oh man, what a hell of a guy. He's been busy with 3:11PM so clearly he's been ... ahem ... a busy ball.

Posted by Anonymous | June 23, 2014 3:46 PM

1:43 the person said it's proof positive I haven't seen Nick Cave live, as if that would change the fact he sings atonally? Or that his lyrics are overwrought? Or that he's not my cup of tea? It's essentially saying Nick Cave is good no matter what anyone says because his live show is good for some people aka he can't be disliked.

Posted by Anonymous | June 23, 2014 4:21 PM

Setlist is not really the same. And it's shorter.

Posted by Anonymous | June 23, 2014 4:21 PM

I thought Barry Adamson was back in the band, but I don't see him in these pictures. Is he touring?

Posted by Anonymous | June 23, 2014 4:41 PM

fat shaming

Posted by Anonymous | June 23, 2014 4:54 PM

Same old songs every tour. Wish they would dig deeper into that catalog.

Posted by Anonymous | June 23, 2014 10:11 PM

From photos elsewhere, it looks like it's the same lineup as last year, with Barry Adamson. Still no Thomas Wylder..

Posted by Anonymous | June 23, 2014 11:26 PM

WHY AM I READING ABOUT A SHOW IN KANSAS CITY ON BROOKLYN VEGAN?!?!?

Posted by Anonymous | June 24, 2014 12:11 AM

i heard nick likes to fart in his hand and then smells the hand he farted into

Posted by Anonymous | June 24, 2014 3:09 PM

You'd probably smell Nick's fart hand if he offered it up, but he wouldn't.

Posted by Anonymous | June 24, 2014 6:04 PM

You did not get the part about Stagger Lee correct. He did not engage with the fat dude, it was my friend who was in a suit.......nick grabbed the tie he wore off of his neck and it was my friend that was serenaded. I was right there. Get your story straight!

Posted by Anon | July 3, 2014 12:12 PM

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