Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds / Patti Smith – Royal Hospital Kilmainham – Review by Killian Laher
Was startled to learn that this was the first Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds show in Dublin for 10 years! Also an opportunity to see legendary ‘punk-poetess’ Patti Smith.
Patti Smith started promptly, as scheduled with People Have The Power. Looking energised and relaxed, she played highlights from her back catalogue including Dancing Barefoot, Because The Night and Gloria, all of which were well received. Redondo Beach fared less well, but the excellent sound allowed this to work, and Smith even covered Midnight Oil’s Beds Are Burning! She was in great form, looked like she didn’t give a damn and totally comfortable on the stage.
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds followed, opening with a pair of moody tracks from recent album Skeleton Tree – Jesus Alone and Magneto echoed clearly and coolly across the dusky sky. But Cave and co didn’t linger in contemplation, Do You Love Me and a chaotic version of From Her to Eternity arrived to scare the bejaysus out of the event junkies. Neither playing to the crowd nor wallowing in wilful obscurity, they interspersed Loverman and Red Right Hand with what can only be described as a groovy version of B-side Come Into My Sleep. The intensity levels dropped somewhat as quieter songs like Into My Arms and a haunting Girl In Amber were aired.
Not everything worked, Distant Sky if anything was a little too solemn, while the tempo and key of The Mercy Seat proved tricky for Cave. A cathartic version of Jubilee Street provided a midset high, Cave bawling “look at me now, I’m TRANSFORMING!” as the excellent band, led by the crazed-looking Warren Ellis ebbed and flowed, picking up the tempo gradually across the song. An elongated The Weeping Song saw Nick Cave foray into the welcoming arms of his adoring fans, several of whom were brought on stage for a demented Stagger Lee. The night ended with the almost hymnal Push the Sky Away, a lump-in-the-throat inducing moment to round off the night.
It takes big presence to pull off an outdoor show like this. Clearly the large audience had been moved by a proper rock star, with a great band, producing a great show. Long may they run.
Do You Love Me?
From Her to Eternity
Red Right Hand
Come Into My Sleep
Into My Arms
Girl in Amber
The Mercy Seat
The Weeping Song
Push the Sky Away