'I was a mess, big time'
Nick Cave has made his long-awaited return to the stage, performing live for the first time and giving his first interview since the tragic death of his son.
Performing in his native Australia, Cave and The Bad Seeds played at Derwent Entertainment Centre in Hobart in his native Australia – their first show in three years since his son Arthur died from falling from a cliff in Brighton in July 2015. His family’s ordeal became the subject of subsequent film and documentary ‘One More Time With Feeling‘.
The show saw them give tracks from their acclaimed 2016 album ‘Skeleton Tree‘ their live debut, performing seven of the record’s eight tracks live for the first time with ‘Jesus Alone’, ‘Girl In Amber’, ‘Anthrocene’, ‘Magneto’, ‘Distant Sky’, ‘I Need You’ and the title track. As leaning largely on cuts from previous album ‘Push The Sky Away’, the veterans also aired a smattering of classics and fan favourites including ‘Red Right Hand’, ‘Tupelo’, ‘The Mercy Seat’, ‘Into My Arms’ and ‘Stagger Lee’. See footage and the full setlist below.
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds played:
Jesus Alone (Live debut)
Red Right Hand
From Her To Eternity
The Weeping Song
Higgs Boson Blues
Girl In Amber (Live debut)
Anthrocene (Live debut)
Magneto (Live debut)
People Ain’t No Good
Jack the Ripper
The Mercy Seat
Distant Sky (Live debut)
Skeleton Tree (Live debut)
I Need You (Live debut)
Papa Won’t Leave You, Henry
Nobody’s Baby Now
Into My Arms
The Ship Song
Push the Sky Away
Meanwhile, Cave also gave his first interview since his son’s death – talking to The Australian about the band’s live return and the impact of the film ‘One More Time With Feeling’.
“You know, I saw the things people wrote about the film on social media,” said Cave “… the way the film seemed to open something very deep for people, and how so many people out there had lost people they loved, you know, just how many grievers there were. It was a very powerful feeling, and ultimately shifted something in me, and Susie too, and stopped us feeling so completely hopeless all the time.
“It was like we had done something good for Arthur, all of us, and had placed the memory of him up there in the stars.”
Speaking of the making of ‘Skeleton Tree’ Cave continued: “For me, going into the studio in Paris was not a good idea, and I hope I never have to do anything like that again. It was only a few months after Arthur died. It was too early. But it just felt important that I do it. You know, life goes on and all. It was crazy. Terrifying, really. I was a mess, big time. So was everybody, actually.
“It was a very difficult time. Much of what we did simply did not work. We tried re-recording the songs; putting them in time, in tune, whatever. Pretty much everything we tried to do sounded bad. It was like the record itself, in its untreated state, was simply refusing to allow itself to be embellished or polished. So, in a sense, Skeleton Tree was the product of that.”
It is hoped that Cave will announce UK and European tour dates shortly. His remaining Australian, New Zealand and American 2017 tour dates are below.
Australia/New Zealand dates :
Ballarat, North Gardens (January 15)
Wellington,TSB Bank Arena (January 17)
Auckland, Vector Arena (January 18 )
Sydney, ICC Sydney Theatre (January 20-21)
Newcastle, Newcastle Entertainment Centre (January 22)
Brisbane, Riverstage (January 25)
Melbourne, Sidney Myer Music Bowl (January 27-28)
Adelaide, Adelaide Entertainment Centre (January 29)
Perth, Perth Arena (January 31)
North American dates:
Brooklyn, Kings Theatre (May 26)
Montreal, Metropolis (May 29)
Toronto, Massey Hall (May 31-June 1)
Detroit, Masonic Temple Theatre (June 3)
Philadelphia, Electric Factory (June 5)
Asheville, Thomas Wolfe Auditorium (June 7)
Pittsburgh, The Warhol at Carnegie Music Hall (June 8)
Boston, Boch Center Wang Theatre (June 10)
New York, Beacon Theatre (June 13-14)
Chicago, Auditorium Theatre (June 16)
Denver, Paramount Theatre (June 18)
Salt Lake City, Kingsbury Hall (June 19)
Portland, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall (June 21)
Vancouver, Queen Elizabeth Theatre (June 22)
Berkeley, Greek Theatre (June 24)
San Diego, Civic Theatre (June 26)
Los Angeles, Greek Theatre (June 29)