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Alexia Arrizabalaga

Nick Cave has reached an almost untouchable peak of ungodly glory. And yet, as he closes All Points East festival, it’s with a grounding sense of charisma and clarity.

Wading through the dystopian emotional landscape, Nick Cave carries the torch, and little by little he lights the way forward. Brewing on the mystery, he unveils snippets and bits from an extensive catalogue stretching over decades of music history.

With drenching bass, the slick-back king dictates the Twin Peaks-esque soundscape through the darkness. Easing up for a second with sparse musical movements accompanying the narrative, we soon enough face new cascades of heaving piano.

Dedicating ‘Come Into My Sleep’ to his wife, the subtle touch of compassion cracks through the composed exterior, letting emotions lead the way for a dazzling second. As the moment resonates, Cave and his eminent band, seem set on heartache as they follow up with an intimate rendition of ‘Into My Arms’.

The grand gesture keeps rolling as Cave introduces Kylie Minogue. Honouring the singer’s 50th birthday with a special performance of their 1996 hit ‘Where The Wild Roses Grow’, Cave proves that some tracks surpass the tides of time.

A man of his word – the infatuation continues with the mythological ‘Right Red Hand’. Sneaking up on you, it breaks into a momentary catharsis of noise, like distorted waves of sound aiming desperately to claw through the contained surface of the song.

Though Cave is anything but cold. Engaging with his crowd in a way that’s almost second nature, he turns to take another look at romance through the spectacles of ‘Deanna’. The transition from crowd to choir is seamless, and as the masses reflects his lyric back, he claims “that was really difficult”.And, it’s in these moments of raw emotions that the God himself becomes human. A man of enormous melodic calibre, and yet Nick Cave is not spared from the storms of human emotions. “I ain’t down here for your love / … I’m down here for your soul.”

Closing with the lucid dream, ‘Push the Sky Away’, Nick Cave rounds off a massive weekend in a matter that only a true star can do. Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds have carved out a moment in time that those witnessing may forever hold dear. As the last tones simmer through the summer air, stretching into eternity it’s so obvious that All Points East could not have ended in any other way.

Read our review of Patti Smith’s incredible set at last night’s All Points East here.

Words by Aurora Henni Krogh

2 Comments

  1. I was in the front row. When Cave said "That was difficult", he had just come down off the stage and into the crowd, and then battled to get back to the stage through a sea of people wanting to touch him. The effort to push through was what was difficult. The atmosphere was frenzied, exhilarating, and potentially physically dangerous. It is something I have never experienced at a gig before. And I would do it all again.

  2. I was in the front row. When Nick said "That was really difficult", he had just come down off the stage and into the crowd, and then battled to get back to the stage through a sea of people wanting to touch him. The effort to push through was what was difficult. The atmosphere was frenzied, exhilarating, and physically dangerous (people were almost falling over, with the posssibility of being trampled). It is something I have never experienced at a gig before. It was scary, but thriling. And like says, it's not just rock 'n' roll, but something that gets you right down to your soul.

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