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Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds : Vienna Stadthalle
Vienna welcomes Nick Cave like he's Frank Sinatra or something...
The attention as Cave stalks the stage like a Wild West preacher offering salvation in a $2 medicine bottle is rapt, awestruck. Changes in gear and intensity are rewarded with spontaneous bouts of applause, like the crowd is in the presence of Frank Sinatra or Neil Diamond. And when, in the middle of a stormy rendition of 'The Mercy Seat', Cave screams "I'm not afraid to die!", the reaction is tumultuous. It's amazing, fantastically so.
This is, truly, another world. One where Hear'say don't exist and Tindersticks-stock is probably a major cultural event. And the Bad Seeds grow into the arena brilliantly, an eight strong gang of angry men, four short of a hanging jury, letting the crashing drama of the melodies provide the thrills as well as any bombastic powerchords. There's even a 'Wonderwall' style singalong for 'Into My Arms', as the nation of wine and poetry celebrates their love of dark romance.
Cave, meanwhile, takes it all in his stride, keeping between-song
utterances to a minimum so he can let rip with the songs, sometimes bent double screaming, or else kicking the air with fury. 'Saint Huck', a 1983 Bad Seeds classic, is particularly magnificent, the Old Testament passion building to a vicious peak, but the closing 'The Curse Of Millhaven' is the runaway highlight. And as fans stream from the Stadthalle, you can still hear some singing the chorus with glee: "la-la-la-la, la-la-la-lie, all God's children, they gotta die". 'Don't Look Back In Anger' will never sound the same again.
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