Forgiving Nick Cave

I decided this morning, as I put on The Boatman’s Call, I’m going to forgive Nick Cave. Finally forgive Nick Cave. I discovered Nick Cave (and the Bad Seeds) because of the Zero Effect soundtrack–I really need to watch that movie again–so 1998. I first saw him live in 2014, then again in 2017. First time was the Push the Sky Away tour, second time was the Skeleton Tree one. Difference between the tours? Not as much as you’d think. Besides some songs off the recent release, he stuck to a similar set list. It ends with drunk white people enthusiastically yelling along to Stagger Lee, which concerned me the first time, and disgusted me the second time as Cave brought the front row of guppies (fiftysomething Gen-X yuppies) on to the stage to dance with him. I remember when Michael Jackson died and Nick Cave talked shit about him. If Nick Cave is going to talk the talk… how is having lame white people on stage because they paid the most for tickets walking the walk. I wanted to go to the Skeleton Tree tour because so much of the album was different and fresh and new compared to, well, pretty much everything Cave’s done since Boatman. There have been some great songs and some great albums, but it’s all fit a tone. Especially when you consider early Nick Cave. Anyway, feeling like the Skeleton Tree tour wasn’t just a rip-off (he sang along with a projection of Else Torp on Distant Sky, which was a major disappointment), but also an embracing of the mediocrity Cave has so often railed against… I’ve been done. I can’t listen to him without seeing some drunk white guy raising his bottle to Stagger Lee or the woman in the Manolo Blahniks line-dancing on stage with Cave to it. I’ve tried since, but halfheartedly. Today was the first time I decided I just have to start listening to Nick Cave again. Maybe someday even Skeleton Tree.