Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds God is in the House

In 2001, Nick Cave toured with his sombre Seeds, and in this two-hour DVD we are invited to join them for their Lyon, France performance — apropos for the melodramatic and enigmatic storyteller/song-man. Heavy with the air of a Parisian cafe, the smoky stage was set for two hours and 14 songs from the band's infamously dark and moody collection. Cave, looking part southern preacher and part travelling showman, starts the show off by asking (in song) "Do You Love Me?" A choice no doubt an unconscious display of his sensitive side, as the bard of brood again wears his heart on his nicotine-stained sleeve. The seven-piece band, including violin, and their leader perform non-stop and Cave is surprisingly as engaged in the crowd as they are in him. Although notoriously introverted and often esoteric, he spends most of the show perched on the edge of the stage, just out of reach, rather than hiding in his shadow as one might expect. He does have his quieter moments, as he sits at the piano for the slower sets, pouring his heart out into every note he sings, but his whirling around in a whiskey haze with a frantic kick and a lit cigarette is when he is completely in his element. The frenzied and rather nefariously evangelical finish to "Oh my Lord," where keys, violin and percussion build up to a chaotic finale, makes you want to shout "amen!" The crowd shots are minimal, most likely 'cause there wasn't much going on. But this had to have been due to being enraptured rather than bored. It didn't take long before the venue had the feeling of a smoky barroom, with Cave as the tortured, boozy, artist-cum-lounge singer from the dark side of the tracks. Guitarist Blixa Bargeld shares the vocals in "The Weeping Song," giving an interesting twist to a Bad Seeds classic. Aside from the odd "Merci," not much is spoken by Cave, yet you feel like you've just been read a novel. The song lyrics, so articulately crafted, are like chapters, each adding to the story that unfolds as the concert proceeds. Plus: promotional videos, "No More Shall We Part- the recording sessions," more. (Mute/Fusion III)