It has been my dream to photograph Nick Cave.
Because I work with music, because he is one of the greatest live performers there is, and because I've seen him a few times without my camera, just a shitty phone in hand, I was determined this time to photograph him for real.
I started plotting how to go about it a few months earlier, I knew he was coming and started asking around, what can I do if I want to shoot Nick Cave. I heard it was tough, I'm not a journalist nor do I shoot for any regular publications, I'd also heard his relationship with photographers is weary at best. I was still determined. A kind friend put me in touch with the right people, who confirmed you can't take a camera in there unless it's for a media outlet. Shit. More kind friends, and I lined up a media outlet (god bless blogs). All good. Approved.
Then comes the photo release. 1 song! Fuck. Ah well, it's Nick Cave and he's a fucking giant and if he only wants to give one song then one song is amazing. Can't wait, I replied, one song with him is better than whole tours with others.
Day of show, 4pm: Notice comes from venue that there will be no photo pit at the front, so the photographers, all 9 of us, will have to shoot from the console, front of house. Wait, at Metropolis, that's basically the back of the room... 1 song AND from the back of the room? Dream's looking a little dreary, but alas... it's Nick Cave, so off I run to Lozeau to rent myself a 200mm lens to shoot 1song from the back of the room.
Showtime. There's been a change-up... turns out they decided top of balcony would be best, near the back, just above the console, so the 9 of us are escorted up to a small cordoned area to shoot the first song. Lights dim, Nick Cave hits the stage, and SITS DOWN. One song, from the back of the room, with the dimmest of lights, and the man of the hour... sitting down! Not quite the dream I'd envisioned, but still... shooting Nick Cave has become a reality (follow your dreams folks!).
We were all laughing heading back down to be escorted out of the building, gear and all.
My friend Susan said she took about 200 shots. I hope she was kidding. I think I maybe managed 10.
Out of the venue we go, dream seriously fuzzy by now and I haven't even had a serious drink yet. Walking away, I hear my name called, there's an extra ticket (from a beautiful angel, local musician whose name shall not be mentioned but starts with R and ends with Foon), and I'm back in for another go, with only my iphone in hand, a jam packed crowd, and a double Jameson on the rocks.
As always, the show is amazing; powerful, true and pure. Hypnotizing and life-affirming.
At one point I wrestle my way closer up for a few snatched iPhone pics, they're on my Instagram if you're curious.
Lovely Creatures: The Best of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds is available now.
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds are currently on tour and they are simply the best thing going in live music.
Andi State is a photographer and filmmaker based in Montreal.
It is still her dream to photograph Nick Cave. For real.