November 19, 2010


Filed under: Atlanta music — Frederick Noble @ 11:56 am Share RSS

I wasn’t going to review this show for a couple of reasons. 1. Nick Cave is hardly local and I like to stick to the locals-only reviews. 2. He requested there be no photography so I didn’t snap a single picture until nearly the end of the show.

But after everyone in my facebook feed raved and posted their own pictures I got a little jealous.

We arrived before the opening act, something I rarely manage to do at Variety. Their shows start early, compared to the other venues in town. But we caught Shilpa Ray, a lone woman with one of those accordion-like keyboards who sang weepy tunes in a sweeping, mornful voice that got more than a few people giggling. It was just a little too much.

Unlike Grinderman, which is a whole hell of a lot too much. And it works.

Nick CaveWe’d inched our way to the front of the crowd by the time the band came on. Unlike his Bad Seeds material, there aren’t a lot of meloncholy ballads. Everything is amped up, with clanging guitars, driving bass, distored fiddle and strangled keyboards.

This isn’t music with a slow build – it starts off the edge. Nick prowled around a lot, grasping hands with people in the front row and pointing out people to sing to.

Nick Cave

Warren Ellis, on guitar, violin, mandolin, maracas and more, was equally ferocious, occasionally rolling around on the floor with the instrument of the moment. Despite being literally in Nick Cave’s shadow, he often stood apart.

Warren Ellis

A woman in front of me caught Nick’s eye so often he was on my end of the stage, singing and pointing my direction. Then he’d jog over to play next to Warren, sometimes hopping around with him and even pulling the man to the floor once.  Despite the angry edge to most of the tunes it was clear the band was really enjoying playing.


I laugh now, thinking back to when I was wondering if $35 was too much to pay for the show. Fuck. That was a bargain.

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1 Comment

  1. far and away one of the best shows this year.

    Comment by eric lee — November 19, 2010 @ 12:07 pm

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