Concert Preview: Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds with Cigarettes After Sex, Oct. 25, The Anthem

October 15, 2018

Nick Cave is probably best known as the frontman of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, a post-punk group formed by three musicians in 1983, which now includes him and 6 more members. Having released 16 studio albums, this band has accrued a following that now spans multiple generations. The group is performing a dozen shows during their North and Latin America Tour this month with special guest Cigarettes After Sex.

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds is a gritty alternative rock band that has managed to keep listeners entering a different world for nearly four decades—while other bands from the same epoch, like the Cure or Bauhaus, have failed to remain relevant. There are frequently haunting and melancholy themes to the band’s music to the point of being uncomfortable or scary at times when the occasional sounds of screaming are included on the track.

Experiencing Cave’s music live would be electrifying for an audience, as it instills a palpable excitement with intense performances. Red Right Hand (1994), an example of these types of thrilling tracks, is the song to the Peaky Blinders (2013) series’ title sequence and is often regarded as one of the band’s signature hits.

The group’s latest album, Skeleton Tree (2016), was written shortly after the death of one of Cave’s twin sons. Although he doesn’t write it from his own perspective, his grief is apparent throughout the album. It is different from the others, quieter, tortured, but eventually peaceful as well. It’s closer to an ambient rhythm, even as it is alternative rock, compared to the more overtly dramatic sounds of the band.

Cigarettes After Sex provides a fairly different kind of music, with a slow, synth-heavy pop rock that is easier to take to for a 21st-century audience. They offer ethereal whispered songs about love, but with more substance than lovey-dovey lyrics, often set against a more somber indie rock background and featuring overarching social commentary.  

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and Cigarettes After Sex will be performing at The Anthem on Oct. 25 at 8 PM. You can find more information here.

Inès de Miranda
Inès graduated from Georgetown in May 2020. During her time at the Voice, she served as chair of the Editorial Board and wrote for most sections.

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