Nick Cave


Photographer: Roger Cullman

Location: Sony Performing Centre for the Arts, Toronto

Date: 2014

Size: 24x36

Framed: Yes

Moments before Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds take the stage, a scuffle breaks out in the front row as hordes of fans rush the stage. A blonde woman repeatedly smacks a large man for standing in front of her, yelling profanities at the top of her voice. As security arrives, others shout “get her outta here!” But security lets her stay, standing between the two fans just as Nick Cave launches into “We Real Cool” off their 15th album, Push The Sky Away. Next is “Tupelo” and Cave cranks it up a notch, lunging into the crowd, 10 rows deep, staring fans down and grabbing outstretched hands.

To the left of the frame, you can see a fan trying to hand Cave a CD. A few songs later, while a stagehand ensures Cave has enough slack on his mic cord, the fan leaps onto the stage and places the CD on the piano – then nonchalantly returns to the crowd, much to the astonishment of security and fans. The third song in, I find myself belly-up to the stage. Fans surround me in every direction as Nick Cave stands a mere arm’s length away. I’m almost blinded by the spotlight shining on him. I do my best to frame his face in front of the spotlight, forming a backlit, halo-like effect.

I made this shot with the ultra-wide Zeiss 12mm 2.8 lens which helped convey the immersive feel and energy of the show. Nick Cave exuded immense showmanship and professionalism, making this my favourite concert to photograph in recent memory.

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