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Friday, June 30, 2017

Honey - Mock Pop preview review

A little bit ago, I got an email about a new album by a Pittsburgh band that I had never heard of before. Honey is a three-piece guitar/bass/drums 90's alternative kinda band. It looks like they released an album back in 2015, so this isn't a totally new band. The new album came out today on Wild Kindness Records, located in Pittsburgh, and it is called Mock Pop.


Three tracks from Mock Pop are up on their Bandcamp page. "Send Me No Flowers" seems to be the intended single, and it is a great track! It's a fuller and longer kind of song that might have been written by Robert Pollard, but it also sounds like some later Cure or Siouxsie and the Banshees tracks, maybe even like The Cult. It's got the loud/soft/loud dynamics of Nirvana, with a good fuzz guitar sound, very cool bridge, and excellent vocals.

"Drag Dealer" is another one of the tracks. It doesn't start as strong as "Send Me No Flowers", but once the guitar solo kicks in, the song soars high and continues that way. The guitars are really excellent on here, but there are some good vocal lines at times too. Some cool detuned sounds end it on a Sonic Youth sort of note.

Last we have "Mallrat's Dream", a glittery realm of pale red lights, recalling both A Flock of Seagulls and, more so, Comsat Angels. This is a great track! I used to go to the grocery store at night on existential journeys, and this reminds me of those times or when I was little and my grandmother and I did the same thing going to Kmart, Ames, Hills, and some malls in the North Hills. There's a hurt and a loss/lost here. "It's only existence", and that's the truth for sure. This song is a little more compressed, but it still rocks.

From what I have heard, Mock Pop is a great album. It has some post-punk influence to it's alt-rock sound, which helps keep it fresh. The production is good; it isn't too compressed, and it isn't too bare like some of my early Satyr/Elfheim albums. It really recalls the first two Comsat Angels albums, favorites of mine and semi-unknown, though I wonder if that was actually an influence or not. I'm gonna be on the lookout to see this band live; if they are anything like these three songs, it is sure to be a great set! Mock Pop, or at least the three songs I've heard, get a Good. I hope to hear the whole album soon.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Last Carsickness

Back in the 70's, Pittsburgh was a different place. I wasn't there of course, but I can see the pictures. Pittsburgh was just transitioning from the harsh industrial era; this was before Lawrenceville rents were sky-high and condos started popping up on every corner. Just like other places, some cool bands started to pop up in the city. You can call them punk bands, but they weren't just loud, fast Sex Pistols clones. Pittsburgh seems to have connected more with the post-punk bands, synths and minimal sounds, and also with a resurgence of earlier garage rock from the likes of The Shadows of Knight and The Seeds. Then there was Carsickness, who kind of combined it all.

Ever since I first saw the name, I thought Carsickness was so cool. I discovered them online, and I was able to find a lot of their old musick for free. They combined the scratchy, dub-influenced post-punk, complete with synths, with an unusual side of prog-rock. The singer, Joe Soap, or Karl Mullen as he is called now, seemed to shout from the same guttural place that Joe Strummer said "Somebody Got Murdered". Now they were getting back together.

The Non-Punk Pittsburgh exhibit went up in the spring of 2017 downtown at Space gallery. It was a comprehensive pfoto gallery of the Pittsburgh's post-punk era. The organizers didn't feel right saying it was a punk scene, hence the name. It was great to see all of the pfotos of all the bands back then, and it was awesome to actually see Carsickness! They reformed and played two final shows, back to back, at Space and Gooski's on April 21st and 22nd respectively.





The only other band to play the shows was Nox Boys. I hadn't seen Nox Boys for a few years; I saw them back when they were just starting, kids in high school, and now they were older, more skilled, and on Get Hip Records. They also had a new bass player, Chris, who does a great job! Bob's slide guitar really added a new dimension to the songs; it seemed more prominent and spacey than before. Zack had the cool rock moves, and Sam laid down the beat. Everything seemed tighter and more confident than when I saw them back at Roboto.






Wow - Carsickness! I was excited to see them - just jolting with energy! Both nights, they were great, with Gooski's being a little rougher than the pristine, and echo-y, Space. It must have been interesting to play in front of pfotos of themselves and their friends from the past though. Carsickness was not the original lineup, adding a new bass player but still retaining Dennis Childers, Karl Mullen, and Steve Sciulli. They were joined by Karl's daughter for a few of the poppier, more reggae/world-influenced songs like "For You". It was strange to see the songs actually performed live. I had only heard them as scratchy mp3s, recordings of a "legendary" time that I could only see in pictures; now I was seeing the songs happen in front of me. It gave the lyrics more weight, the instruments more depth, but it also humanized the myth. It was especially strange, because few people I know even had heard of Carsickness or any of the other bands from that era. Somehow, despite the internet and the oral history of cities, those bands had been forgotten, or perhaps more aptly never learned of, by people my age. Though the non-punk bands were obviously real, they were actually in front of me now. And they didn't just play the songs from the Police Dog EP or Shooting Above the Garbage, tracks that I had listened to over and over. They also played later stuff, like the afore-mentioned "For You" and "They Came Crawling". This was the complete history of Carsickness, from beginning to end, in their seemingly final hour.

Both shows were great. I was so glad to see them. I got my copy of Shooting Above the Garbage, which I had found on eBay when I graduated from high school, signed. It wasn't cheap. I had some of the mp3s before that, but I wanted "the real thing", as I usually do. Now you can get "the real thing" without spending "the real cash" - a Carsickness compilation was released by Get Hip Recordings around the same time. I wish it had every recording, but it is a good selection. Get it here.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Spectres Tape Release



My friend Dan plays with me in Sorry I'm Dead, but he also has a band called The Spectres. The Spectres released a tape this year, a follow-up to their 2014 effort, What Will It Be?. This one is on King Pizza Records, and it is called Baby, You're Too Pretty To Rumble, which is a sick name. The album starts strong, and the production is great. I won't go through each track, but I will say that I give it a Good overall, with some of the standouts being "Queeny" (I love the banter at the end), "Night Goes Rollin By", "Girl, I Want Your Love", "Attack of the Allegheny Gill-Man", "Hot-Rod", "Baby, You're Too Pretty to Rumble" (haunting Farfisa sounds), "Phil Spector" (a wall-less song that could have been recorded by the infamous producer), and "Drive-In, Tonight" (nice Ramones-esque "let's go!"). I guess the only songs that I don't like so much are "I'm a Hog 4 U" and "Cocktail Shaker", but they are more average than anything. It's a very driving, rocking album of fun garage rock just in time for the summer.




The release show for Baby, You're Too Pretty To Rumble was a month ago, May 27th, at Howlers. I got to the show just in time to see the first band, Franny Moon, who I had never seen before. I was impressed! Franny Moon is made up of some members of the longtime Pittsburgh band, Robin Vote. While Robin Vote sort of sounds like electric Dylan, Franny Moon is a snapshot of an encounter between Jonathan Richman and Ed Schrader. Franny Moon glides along a lunar field without a clear pathway; I enjoyed the freeform nature of the songs that seemed based more on rhythms than guitar hero chord progressions. This freeform, jammy section was played quietly, and then they went into a few country songs, one dedicated to the recently deceased Greg Allman. It sounds strange, but it all made sense together.



The Spectres were next. They played their cool garage rock, and it was pretty rockin' that night. Despite being only a two-piece, the band sounded very full, with great guitar tones and stuttering reverb. It was a driving set, with not a lot of slowdown. The new songs sounded good, just like on the tape! Dan used an organ for some of the tracks too! The Spectres are always great.


Finally, Jiant Eagle, a band named after a grocery store (Giant Eagle), set up for the last set of the night. Jiant Eagle had a power-pop sound like one of those CBGB bands that didn't end up on a Hot Topic t-shirt. I liked the classic guitar lines and the vocals. At times they resembled the Dictators or Big Star. It was pretty garage-y too. I definitely want to see this band more often.

I was happy that the show was short; I felt pretty tired going in, but afterward, I felt much better. Still, it was nice to get in and get out. All three bands were good, and I was glad to see two new bands, both within the palette of sounds that I enjoy. Buy the Spectres tape if you are so inclined.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Wintermuting Roboto

On June 18th, Sorry I'm Dead played with Aloe and Wintermute at the Mr. Roboto Project. I had felt exhausted and depressed that weekend; I had taken the day off at work on Friday because of it. I was still very tired this day, but hopefully, the show would be pretty cool.

We played first, and we played the same set as we did for the benefit show the week before. I don't think it worked as well this time. There was a little more space to move around, but there were still no cool rock moves for the most part. We didn't really mess up or anything, but I feel like we were kind of just going through the motions. Dan and Laura disagreed, so I think it was more of my mood than anything. Also, everything sounded so compressed sonically, a characteristic of Roboto that I noticed a lot this night.



I was surprised as Wintermute took to the stage; I did not expect to see a violin. As soon as I saw that, I wondered if they were a post-rock band. Wintermute combines shoegaze and post-rock, and they go pretty hard. The sound was all-enveloping; it filled the room. Unfortunately, as I mentioned above, the room was a detriment to a few things. Wintermute has such a huge sound that they should be playing at the Rex or Mr. Smalls. I'm sure they don't have the draw power for a venue like one of those, but they sounded a bit muddy here at Roboto. I don't think it was their fault at all. The guitar was a bit too loud at times. Overall it was an excellent set, and I really enjoyed it.



Aloe played last. I was excited to see them play again; last time, they were so great! This time they sounded better, though Roboto's weird sound reduced the vastness of the sound. I heard things that reminded me of My Bloody Valentine and Sonic Youth, and the bass and drums provided a solid backdrop to the thrashing guitars. The lyrics were hard to make out, but it kind of goes with the musick. It's not much of an issue.

The show ended very early. It was just three bands, and we were all ready to go, it seems. There weren't any delays or problems; I think I got home a little before 10:30pm. The brevity of the show was nice after the massive show on Friday, though I was still feeling kind of empty and weird; this didn't really help that. That's a personal issue though. If you get a chance, definitely see Wintermute!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

"High in the Mountain" Release Show

Last Friday, June 16th, I went down to Space for the closing party for the Non-Punk Pittsburgh show. I have more to say about this art show in the future, but basically, it was an exhibit of the post-punk scene of Pittsburgh in the late 1970's and early 1980's. June 16th was also the release date for Steve Sciulli's High in the Mountain album, a folk album from a member of the legendary Carsickness, one of my favorite (defunct) Pittsburgh bands. I felt kind of sick all day, though I did end up making it Downtown. I was in and out of the space for the whole show, feeling spacey and lost thanks to difficulties at work and a story from a new acquaintance about some terrible experiences they had, involving someone I used to know as the abuser. I wasn't sure if I would stay the whole night.


I was excited to see the first performer, Frank Secich. Secich was the guitarist for Stiv Bators solo band in the 1980's. He also played in the band Blue Ash and is currently in the Deadbeat Poets. Tonight, he was playing a solo acoustic set. I recognized "The Green Man" from the Deadbeat Poets and "Circumstantial Evidence" from his time with Stiv Bators. The songs were great, and he is a good guitar player. I wish there had been a band with him on electric guitar though. These songs deserved to rock!



Southside American played next. I was unfamiliar with this band. At first, the frontman sang alone with his guitar. Soon he was joined by another singer and later a whole band. The songs had a leftist slant and reminded me a bit of Springsteen, a rusty, small town feel. Each of the songs made sense with the instruments that it was played on. I enjoyed the whole thing.


The locally famous Slim Forsythe was third. I had never seen him play before, but I often see his name outside Nied's Hotel. He does a bunch of outdoor concerts there every summer. Right before the show, I listened to some of his new album on Get Hip, and he is just like the recording! He told tales of Jimmie Rodgers, Hank Williams, and the origins of his songs. He is a very traditional country singer and does a great job looking the part! I love hearing the history of things; here we were, gathered around the fire under the stars of the great American Southwest on the rural Pennsylvania backroads. I love it!


Zack Keim, from the Nox Boys, played next. The songs he played were a mixed bag; there were good songs, the "don't leave me" kinda love songs, and the ones that were too much like Bob Dylan. The good ones worked with his youthful demeanor. Some were kind of cheesy with the aforementioned love thing, but it was okay. The bad ones seemed forced into a Dylan-esque mold. I know this is folk musick, but I want to hear what Keim has to say, not what Dylan said 50 years ago. Later in the set, there were some technical problems with Keim's guitar cable, unfortunately during some cool songs. I like Nox Boys, and I think Zack could have some cool solo material too, but I want to hear more Zack Keim and less Bob Dylan.


I really didn't like this next band, Some Kind of Animal. After getting excited by the sight of drums and bass and electric guitar, I was dissappointed when they began to play. It was the indie kind of soft-rock, something like Snow Patrol or Fun. I was getting tired, and I couldn't get into it at all. I went for a short walk.


When I came back, Slim Forsythe and Steve Sciulli were getting set up. Forsythe told some stories about seeing Carsickness and how he was scared of Steve Sciulli's weird sytnh parts. He said he would stare at Carsickness back when he was at school and wonder what they were doing. Sciulli interjected at times with wry, sardonic commentary. It was a great intro to his set.





Sciulli started to play some droney folk/prog/psych songs on a resonator slide guitar. It sounded great, and I got lost in the waves of drones. My tiredness mixed with the warbling sounds; I forgot where I was for a second. Eventually, Sciulli was joined by the other members of his band, Standing Wave, and they played some great songs in the same vein. Towards the end, he got up and put a thin sheet over his head. It was weird and fantastic and awesome. Standing Wave really impressed me!

In conclusion, I did end up staying the whole night, and it was worth it. Everything wasn't great, and I do prefer things with drums and bands, but this was a fun show. Steve Sciulli and Slim Forsythe had great sets. It was good to see new bands, even if I didn't like all of them. I was going to talk to Frank Secich before I left, but I didn't see him. I'm sure I will be able to meet him sometime in the future. Despite my negative review, I will probably go to Zack Keim's album release show this weekend, and I hope to see Standing Wave again soon.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Gland Dropout

On June 13th, I went to see Gland and Dumplings at Howlers. Brazilian Wax was supposed to play, but one of the members had car trouble. Another band, Aloe, was then going to play but also had some issues. I didn't even know Brazilian Wax had dropped when I saw that Aloe had dropped, so I was pretty confused. Luckily, Scott Fry Experience agreed to play, and everything was saved! I didn't get to see Scott Fry, because I got there late.




Dumplings played first. It was a very solid set. Jon's guitar sounded super good, and the audience was super into all of the songs! This is maybe the best set I have seen Dumplings play, but they are always awesome!





Gland, from New Orleans, was next and last. They had a very tough look, reminding me of maybe like L7 combined with a Bufu Records band. Combining Babes in Toyland-esque riot grrl with a sort of Mötley Crüe attitude, Gland was super loud and rocking. They were maybe a little too loud. It was very energetic though, and the songs were good! Check out that awesome bat on the bass too!



And that was it. Gland was super nice, and I got a shirt and their 7" record, Is A Conspiracy. Then I helped Dumplings load some gear into their car, and I went home. It was a quick night, maybe a little too quick, but that couldn't really be helped with the lineup confusion. I wish I didn't miss Scott Fry, especially because his band is composed a little differently these days. I'm sure I'll get to see the at another show, and I hope Gland comes back sometime soon too.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Pharmakon Fight Club

A few years ago, I wanted to go see Pharmakon when she was here in Pittsburgh. I didn't really know anything about her musick, but there was a lot of hype about the show. Based on what I had heard and read about online, I was sure that I would like it though. As I do sometimes, I didn't listen to anything because I wanted it to be a surprise. When the time for the show actually came, I didn't go, but I know a lot of people that did. It seems like some guys got really handsy and creepy at the show with Pharmakon, seemingly using her audience baiting as an excuse. It was upsetting to hear that, and I wondered what I would do if that happened at an event I was at. When Pharmakon played at the Shop on May 23rd of this year, I found out.

Let's start at the beginning. The show started a bit late. It was sold out, and a few people got tickets at the door. I think I have seen the Shop more packed in the past, though the audience grew throughout this show.


First up was my friend Margaret Cox. Her set was really cool, though there were a few technical issues. I don't think it really detracted from anything. Experimental musick is experimental; sometimes things don't work. I don't know exactly what the device she always uses is (some kind of magnetic tape reader), but it is always interesting. This set was sparse at times, and it fit the mood of the room. There were awesome textures and cluttery sounds. It was a little eerie.

At this point, I saw a person that bothers me a lot. I won't explicitly name this person, but he has caused a lot of problems for people I know and was a jerk to me when I used to hang out with him. He has sexually assaulted and harassed friends of mine. Some people didn't want to be there because he was there and felt scared. I got so mad and confronted him about the things he had done: the sexual assaults, the manipulation, bullying, sending fucked up messages to people online, just general abuse and creepy behavior that he has never apologized or made himself accountable for. He said he didn't do those things, but he did. It amazes me that someone can still try to deny things they have been doing for years, but, of course, nobody wants to be the bad guy; nobody thinks they can do these awful things to others.


Back to musick! I thought the second person to play was Container, but it was actually a guy named Twig Harper. He was in Nautical Almanac, who I saw in the same room years prior. I don't think he was actually listed on this bill. Despite that, Harper's set was amazing! He played some sputtering, spastic sounds. It wasn't pretentious or pointlessly loud with no substance as noise can be at times. This was actual artistry. Is that unfair to say? Harper seemed nervous, and it made him endearing to me.


Container, from Providence, Rhode Island, was actually up now. He took some time to set up, so I went outside for a second. It was obvious when he started to play. Here were the obnoxiously loud aspects of noise. Everybody was really excited to see Container play, but I didn't like his set at all. It was loud dance music with some breaks and feedback swirls and stuff. I don't really like that kind of thing. The crowd really filled in at this point though.



Pharmakon was finally up, and I was really excited. As I expected, she played loud, with actual force and teeth. She walked through the audience like Moses parting the Red Sea. She brushed up against people and acted aggressively. Naturally, this brought some old-fashioned creepiness to the forefront; some guy, who I had just met outside, different from the previous guy above, started to rub her head and brush up against her. Thinking quickly, I pushed the guy and told him to cut it out. Beer spilled all over everyone, like the aftermath of Mifune's sword. The guy seemed confused. Pharmakon pushed up against him and returned the favor. She patted his head; she screamed in his face. It was awesome. I was still pretty upset, based on all that had happened earlier, and I pointed at the guy. I yelled at him. Since she already had it under control and probably didn't want any actual bloodshed, Pharmakon pushed me out of the way and sat me down on a bench. I just thought, "well, yeah, I understand". When I tried to get back up, two people wouldn't let me. They yelled at me and told me that I was causing a problem. I pushed them out of the way. I guess I was causing a problem. I don't think what I did was necessarily helpful. From how I see it, her giving it back to that dude is the whole point. It's a whole thing about baiting the audience to punish them when they act out of line. I felt kind of stupid. I don't know if vigilantism is a paragon to uphold, it certainly didn't make me feel good, and I am not sure that I actually helped anything. I don't know if it was wrong or right, or how to really define those concepts.

So after Pharmakon's set, I took a walk. I talked to a friend on the pfone. When I was walking, I saw that guy crying on the sidewalk. I felt bad for him but you also shouldn't touch people without their permission. After my pfone call, we had a long talk about apologizing, acting responsibly even under the influence, and how I thought that he wasn't a terrible person even if I thought what he did was wrong. Everybody lived happily ever after I guess? The End.


Actually, there was one more band, Wolf Eyes. I have enjoyed the Wolf Eyes side projects I have seen, but when I saw Wolf Eyes at Spirit in 2015 I was bored. I missed some of the set when I was talking with that guy. What I did see of their set, I enjoyed. It was dense and sludgey and droney. It was not boring though. John Olson's horns added a lot to the set, as I feel like they do in every project he is in. They have such a cool timbre and texture, a manifestation of the Detroit wasteland. Wolf Eyes' "too-cool-for-you-to-the-point-of-parody" was somewhat subdued here. That's the thing that really bugs me about them, and it's an example of what I meant above in that little diatribe about a lack of substance. Noise bros are scum. My former friend above is one of them. This whole post is a bunch of weird rants and awful stories, so it's okay if you missed it.

I'm glad I went to this show, even though it was so crazy. It reminded me of those good times before I knew that my former friend was so awful. I'll be talking more about those rose-colored, naïve lands of the past soon. This is a new world, tempered by fire and steel, with the same roaring blood that fed the weird soundscapes of the Roup days. Since that time, I didn't go to a lot of shows, because I was so busy with work and school; everything seemed different too. I think things are different in a good way, but there are a lot of cool sounds to see if you are courageous enough to seek them out.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Until Everyone's Free Benefit

Over the weekend, on June 11th, Sorry I'm Dead played a benefit for political prisoners. It was at a place that I have never been before called Goathouse. It was a house with goats. The goats were cute. Here is a goat.


Since this was a show, there were bands, three others besides my own. Just like the house, I was unfamiliar with the other bands. Two of the bands, SAP and Haz Lo Correcto, were on tour, and Thief In Your Head was from Pittsburgh. Sorry I'm Dead was up first, so we set up in the gross basement.

Our set was pretty good. It was a little goofy, because there was no microphone stand; we almost attached the mic to a vacuum! Thief In Your Head let us use their cymbal stand instead. We did some of the faster songs, including a new song called "John Wayne Is Dead". There wasn't a lot of room to move, so there were not any cool rock moves, and it was hard to look at my lyrics sheets, which I usually do right before each song. I still think it went okay; it was a furious and energetic set. We received many compliments, but we were way different than the other bands.



Thief In Your Head is a wild band, so cool! They combine elements of noise rock, black metal, and hardcore; it's much more unique than it sounds like it would be. The songs were pretty complicated with interesting parts and a lot of dynamics. The guitarist/bassist sounded like Sonic Youth at times! The entire band was really on it, and the vocalist was super fun to watch. They said they didn't have any other shows coming up soon, but you should definitely watch for this band!



SAP is a queercore band from Kent, Ohio. The band members all had a unique look; unfortunately, I did not get a good picture of the drummer. Their songs were political, topics ranging from Tamir Rice to gaslighting and environmental issues. The microphone, which was screwed up since the beginning, really started to short out for SAP until the guitarist from Thief In Your Head found some tape, and the show could go on. They played super fast. The guitar had a cool fuzz-tone, the drums sounded kinda thumpy, and the bass was really solid. It was a little like Hüsker Dü with a fiercer singer, really cool stuff!



Haz Lo Correcto, from Philly, played last. I couldn't get into this band at first. The guitar and bass were pretty muddy, and the snare drum was super tight, with no breathing room. Towards the end, the bass and guitar seemed to clean up a bit, so Haz Lo Correcto's set still turned out pretty good. The vocalist was really cool. It was cool to hear a song about Narcan and not abandoning people with opiate problems. Though I have never used any drugs myself, I am not at all unfamiliar with the awfulness that heroin and painkillers bring to people's lives. The last song they played was also awesome. It wasn't as loud/fast, with some cool Stooges/Velvets drones. Haz Lo Correcto's set definitiely wasn't perfect, but it ended on a high note.

I don't know how much money was raised. Unfortunately, there were not a ton of people at this show. It wasn't super sparse either though. As is usual, the really good shows are not well attended, but this was a new venue as far as I know, and it was a little out of the way for a lot of people. It was definitely a fun night with much camaraderie.

Friday, June 9, 2017

An Introduction to Nick Cave

I have never listened to Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. There, now you know. It's a dark secret, hidden away from the eyes of the astute music fan friends that I have. To admit something like that would be akin to social suicide, a death sentence to be plunged into the dregs of unpopularity and disbelief. However, this all changed last night, because I saw Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds live, somewhat on a whim. And yes, I had heard the Birthday Party before, so I was not that uncool.

I got to the show right before it was set to start, 8pm. My friend Dan was waiting for me. He had gotten tickets from someone who couldn't go; the show had been sold out since last year, and it was very expensive. We ended up paying much less than we would have considering we were almost in the front row of the Carnegie Music Hall of Oakland. There was some confusion over where our seats were, and we were initially seated wrong. Eventually, another usher came over and showed us to the correct, and better, seats. The seats didn't end up mattering though because Nick Cave invited the crowd to come on down to the front! It's always weird to me to see that these kinds of bands are playing these kinds of places, and I guess performers like he and Iggy Pop feel strange playing there. "Beautiful, but impractical", Cave called the theater.


The show was exciting! Cave's six-piece band was skilled and loud but not harsh. The instruments included the rock standard of drums, guitar, and bass amongst violin, piano, various percussion instruments, and possibly a synthesizer. Warren Ellis looked like a wildman on violin with his long beard and enormous movements. The drums were heavy, booming like a chariot of the gods or some other Bonham metaphor. I expected the bombast and mostly loved it. Perhaps it was a little jammy at times, some would say self-indulgent. I like slow builds though. The only thing I didn't really like was the sequence of dreary piano ballads towards the middle. It went on a bit long.


Cave himself took to getting right up to the audience. He was much more human than I expected. He clearly showed off star power, which left a true impression on me, but he was not standoffish. He appreciated the audience's desire to touch him, to enter his dark world. Right when we got down to the floor, Cave crowd-surfed over us, and later he had listeners reach out and feel his heartbeat, literally. It was a different take off of what I expected.


Cave's voice is deep and somber, at times spiking out to harsh pins. The band droned on behind him in a lumbering avant-blues goth. The songs were stories of heartache and death, tragedy and love and longing. Like Tom Waits, Jim Morrison, or Iggy Pop, Cave is a dark crooner unlike his Birthday Party skronking. As I said above, sometimes the band wallowed in the heartache but that is a minor nitpick.

The show went on for around 2 hours; it might have been longer. Projections accompanied some of the musick, helping to keep it fresh. There were howling winds, polarized images of Cave, and a female singer. The band did a long encore of requests after playing for over an hour. I had to pee super bad and tried to hold it. I really wasn't interested in pissing myself, so I left for a moment towards the end to come back to everyone on the stage, gathered like a cult of mourners encircled in green light. It was eerie and quite something to see all the people looking down from the balconies.


This was quite an amazing and special show, one that I will remember forever. It was quite something to be right up close to such a booming powerhouse. The near, and at times literal, tangibility also made the wall between the band and us, as the audience, more noticeable. Right now, I'm thinking about Pink Floyd's The Wall. Roger Waters' tale of disillusionment is real, but it is avoidable too, considering Cave's connection to his listeners. Though I had very little connection to him beforehand, I really felt like I was part of Nick Cave's world standing there in front of all the lights and people. It's something I will never forget.