Can I call you Nicholas?

No.

Let’s suspend judgement of each other, of each other’s questions…

And the questions were probably the same, repeated over and over in venues across the world.

Does Nick Cave ever stop being Nick Cave in his life? Is Nick Cave always the stage persona? I wanted to ask. But I didn’t.

I suppose most of the people were fans. I love Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, but I am not a fanatic. I do not have a song I share with my significant other. I do not have songs I would play at my funeral.

The people in the audience did. So many just wanted to express their love with nothing much to ask. And Nick Cave indulged them nonchalantly, he was gracious, appeared sincere, non-judgmental. Just a normal person sharing his experience.

This is what I do – he said repeatedly – No, this is who I am. Writing. Incessantly.

Getting up, I wear a suit, I kiss my wife and step into the room where I work not getting out of it until 5. No day is a bad day. Maybe for weeks you do not get anywhere but then words, combinations of words, sentences get together and they shimmer… that is what I live for.

This is what I do. This is who I am.

I imagine Cave writing with a pencil on thousands of annotated notebooks. Arranging and rearranging words, obsessing over an adjective.

I am writing a lot. I never stop.

Is it ok if I play a couple of songs and then we say goodbye?

After almost 3 hours taking in his audience nervous silliness, smug remarks and transcendental experiences, Nick Cave is ready to go.

This is an excerpt of my review originally written in English soon to be published in Italy on Rumore magazine.

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