An insane carreer that leads to God knows where
yorgos dalman | Holland, Europe | 02/10/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First there was the release of the `God is in the house' dvd, a performance Nick Cave and his Bad Seeds gave in France, in 2001. Later on there was the awesome release of Nick's first real band The Birthday Party: two live punk gigs in the beginning of the 80's.
Now there is a double bill on dvd: the black & white documentary `The Road to God knows where', which can be best described as a `behind the scenes of Nick and The Bad Seeds on tour', and the 1992 concert in Paradiso, Amsterdam.
The documentary is a deliberatly paced, understated, non-explaning series of impressions. No biography here, no guiding voice-over or cinematic manipulation: just scenes which themselves often do not really have a point, but are, as a whole, a pure look at The Man as he really is, calm, dead-pan funny at times, but often serious and quiet. Not at all the rockbeast he sometimes is during his shows. To some this may simply be a dull film without real climaxes or `exceptional happenings', but to the real fans it gives a true feeling of an almost Jim Jarmusch road movie a.k.a. "slices of life".
The second disc contains the live concert in Holland and this show happens to be the perfect bridge between the crazy, insane Early Years and the more mature and structured performance of the exceptional singer / songwriter Nick Cave is now (`God is in the house').
In Amsterdam's Paradiso Nick jumps all over the stage, shouting and screaming as a man in rage, pleading as a mad preacher and even kneeling down, either before himself (`The good son') or the audience (`Papa won't leave you, Henry').
There is no rest in this almost psychotic man, not even during the Elvis-evergreen `In the ghetto', although it is, together with a delirious performance of `The carny', a point of ease and rest in between the real adrenaline pumping classics like `The mercy seat', `Tupelo' and `From her to eternity'.
The latter song is sung with an almost grunging voice at first, but it never really goes over the edge; Nick is just an intens and hyperenergetic performer with an almost Biblical mission: the stage is his altar and The Caveman is there to convert the crowd.
No rest for the pity or the wicked. And thank God somewhere down the road for that.
Cool but far from perfect.
D. Helm | CA | 09/11/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"i love nick cave and the music and performance but this dvd is not pure gold by any means. The Road to Nowhere is slow at best, just a lot of behind the scenes footage edited together. There are good moments but mostly it's watching people do normal stuff for a long time. Sitting on the bus, jamming a little, arguing with management. It offers insight but little entertainment.
the performance is much more fun to watch but the image quality isn't that great and whoever edited it cut and pasted multiple performances together rather than just presenting one concert like I would have preferred. It's distracting to see what Nick's wearing change from shot to shot.
Performance wise it's tight it's the dvd that's shaky."