“Boom-boom-boom!” It wasn’t what everyone had hoped for anyway. No, it was much more stunning than that. On Sunday evening, Australian singer Nick Cave (64) transformed the main stage of Best Kept Secret into an altar of hope and comfort.
“Just breath, just breath, just breath!”
The way in which he closed the three-day festival and dragged more than twenty thousand spectators along an emotional abyss was grander and more compelling than the most loyal fan could have dreamed. For over two hours, Cave turned his soul inside out and shed tears—including laughter.
“Cry, cry, cry!”
De Dood may be a good friend in Cave’s oeuvre, but in private he came too close again last month. Seven years after a younger son died in an accident when he fell off a cliff, his eldest son also died.
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That horrific disaster gives all sentences, words, sighs or even glances an extra morbid charge. It becomes blood-curdling when Cave in ‘I Need You’ desperately continues to stammer the plea ‘Just breathe, just breathe, just breathe’ until he can’t anymore: his air is out.
Those lines, along with his heartbeat from “Higgs Boson Blues” (“Boom-boom-boom!”) and the endless whine from “Lucy” (“Cry, cry, cry”) keep cropping up in other songs—as a mantra that the sums up the core of his grieving existence: making his heart beat, gasping for breath, crying.
And yet it is far from all sadness. As with any good funeral service, there is also plenty to laugh about. For example, if Cave constantly keeps one fan on their toes: „Are you paying attention? You have to concentrate!”, yearningly has raised hands clumped together into a human microphone stand, the spit bucket of musical blood brother and Bad Seeds leader Warren Ellis auctions for twenty euros to a blissful spectator in the front row or lets himself through the crowd sitting on someone’s neck. tour: “I know this is uncomfortable for you, but you are my friend.”
But when he screams “Cry, cry, cry” again afterwards, everyone knows: everything is at stake here. Aside from his immaculate gravedigger suit, Nick Cave stands stark naked, his bleeding heart in his hands.