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    > Nick Cave and Carmen Consoli

    Nick Cave and Carmen Consoli

    Two concerts in less than a week, we certainly outdid ourselves. On Saturday we waited an hour in line on the pavement behind Market Street to get inside the newly-remodeled Warfield Theatre. I bought my tickets two months ago for the Dig! Lazarus Dig! tour of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.

    The first part by the Red Sparowes was boring at best, the instrumental band alternating kick-ass guitar riffs with dull “ambiant rock” melodies.

    Honestly, I still don’t understand why they were chosen for the first part of Nick Cave’s tour. There was really nothing exciting or galvanizing about their performance. The only downside, to me, would be the string of shocking deathly images screened above them on a white sheet because it was disturbing but lacked musical substance.

    Nick Cave, on the other hand, was his usual professional self: right on, dark and biblical. He was so wasted (or seemed so) that we occasionaly anticipated a catastrophe but he kept going on and the show was worth the two-month wait.

    Like the three other Nick Cave concerts I’ve seen, this one alternated a mix of powerful oldies (The Mercy Seat, The Ship Song, Stagger Lee, Tupelo, Papa Won’t Leave You, Henry …) with excerpts of his new and brilliant Dig! Lazarus Dig! (Dig! Lazarus Dig!, Midnight Man, More News from Nowhere…).

    As we had to relieve our babysitter we unfortunately left before the encore, but we were ecstatic nonetheless (with ringing ears).

    Last night at the Bimbo’s 365 club in the heart of North Beach, change of musical scene. We had the pleasure to see Carmen Consoli, the Italian pop/rock star.

    Bimbo’s is such a small venue that its red-velvet draped walls are the perfect setting for an acoustic experience such as last night. Dim lights, round tables and martinis flowing, such was the dark room we entered to sit close to the stage at our reserved table.

    Consoli’s songs, from the older woman obsessed with plastic surgery in Contessa Miseria to the deceived bride of Fiori D’Aranzio, have the compassion and defiance of her punk-rock beginnings.

    Tagged as an “Intellectual rocker steeped in tradition” by the New York Times, Consoli is a passionate performer and her leg and boot moves show how her entire body vibrates with her music. Not sure I’ll become a huge fan, but I’m glad we went.

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