Last night A. and I ventured out from our suburban cocoon down to the Orpheum Theater to see Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. It was a birthday gift for A. and we were beyond psyched. The Bad Seeds are one of those bands that I had listed on my bucket list to see live. I love going to concerts, but depending on who you are seeing it can be pricey and not always worth it. (However, one of the best concerts of all time was when Katie and I saw George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic. It was a Sunday night, and we left the still-raging concert at 1 a.m., since we were responsible adults who had to be at work the next morning.)
Simply put: Nick Cave was worth it.
Now, the man puts on a damn good show. He was like a giant praying mantis rocking a suit. The man, now north of 50, still has swagger. He started off with a few hits off his new album – however, the fifth song in was “From Her to Eternity”. And holy shit, it blew my mind.
But – the guy in front of A. and me – his mind was beyond blown. Have you ever had a fan experience where you were somewhere between wanting to push them off the balcony and in complete confusion as to what was happening? Because that is what I experienced. The guy in front of us looked like he belonged more at a Dave Matthews Concert than a Bad Seeds concert. He was wearing a plaid button down with jeans and had cropped blonde hair. I would not have thought twice about it if he had been wearing a white college baseball cap with the name of a sports team. Yet, here he was, and he knew all the words to every song. It was bizarre watching him. A. and I referred to him as the Dave Matthews Juggalo (DMJ). He looked like a DMB fan but his hand movements looked like he belonged at a Wu-Tang Clan concert. His girlfriend was beyond mortified as he was the only one standing up and pantomiming the songs. Every. Single. Song. If he hadn’t been drunk and obnoxious it might have been hilarious.
At one point, his girlfriend had him by the back of the shirt and waistband to drag him down into his seat – but she couldn’t do it. She stormed off to (presumably) wait in the lobby. Meanwhile, the DMJ kept on keeping on.
It was the last song that got interesting. Cave started singing, “It was back in ’32 when times were hard / He had a colt .45 and a deck of cards…” and my first thought was, “Yes! This is an awesome song!” That thought was quickly followed by “Oh shit, I don’t need to see this song pantomimed.”
“Stagger Lee” is a brilliant song. A brilliant yet FILTHY song. And I was about to bear witness to what can only be described as an array of visualizations that will haunt me for the rest of my life.
With lyrics such as, “She said, you ain’t look like you scored in quite a time. Why not come to my pad? it won’t cost you a dime Mr. Stagger Lee” the pantomiming was something to behold.
At this point, the girlfriend had come back and looked on in horror while people around the DMJ bristled uncomfortably. Yet, he continued on without missing a beat. The girlfriend, who, at this point, had obviously hit her breaking point, reached into the DMJ’s back pocket and removed both his wallet and phone without him noticing. She then left without returning. I was ready to applaud her for that.
After the show ended (but not before someone requested a song and Cave deadpanned, “That’s not a Bad Seeds song that’s a MOTHERFUCKING MORRISSEY SONG.”) fans filed out while the lone DMJ was still dancing and singing by himself. Most likely not realizing that the concert had ended.
On the T ride home A. and I saw fellow concert goers thrusting and giggling. We came to find out that they were sitting a few rows behind us and saw the DMJ, and they too were mystified by him.
On the other hand, I got to see one of my favorite songs played live. That alone made my survival of the DMJ worth it.