Cave emerged quickly to put fears to rest. Dapper as usual in slim-cut black suit and open-necked white shirt, he sat at the keyboard and pulled out a book of his music, justifying the cheat by saying he hadn't done this in a while. Introducing his first song with the unlikely-sounding claim: "this is a song I actually wrote in Utah, when I was on honeymoon with my wife," he played a version of "God is in the House" with lyrics slightly tweaked to reflect this week's influx of black-clad Angelenos in Park City.
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"I'm so f---ing jet-lagged," Cave complained at one point, though he looked rested and ready, his famous swept-back raven's hair as imposingly sculpted as ever. For the last song in the 15-minute set, he recruited an audience member (OK, this audience member) to hold the music book open for "People Ain't No Good."
"Just follow the words, and when it gets to there, turn the page," he instructed. "But stay out of the light."
Despite the misanthropy of his closer, the singer seemed happy to hobnob afterward, posing for pictures with admirers. Perhaps he was energized by the buzz over the movie, a non-performance-oriented film that was described by partygoers who'd seen it as an entertaining, provocative break from the usual rock-doc format.
- This article originally appeared in THR.com.