Encoring with “In the Ghetto” at his recent Spit appearance, Cave let the quiet passion of the single give way in to a Tom Jones swagger, belting out the song as if he were in the Star Search finals (judging by the bevy of females swooning at his feet, I figure he won). True to form, he did not seem jovial during his performance; in the midst of opening “Box for Black Paul,” he was so uninvolved with the audience, I wasn’t sure that we’d get more than one song. Fortunately, Cave was so taken aback at the adoring response, he continued. Although some of the record’s oblique humor got lost in the onstage chaos, Cave proved to be an adept showman; if he’s indifferent for mere fans, he’s dead serious about his disgust. Jeffery Lee Pierce of the Gun Club once joked that his band would destroy all music. Not to discount his efforts, but no one’s met that challenge as successfully as Cave.

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