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Nick Cave is a heady combination of fear, sex, God, love, and super-slick suits. At D.A.R Constitution Hall Wednesday night, Cave and his Bad Seeds played with their usual powerful brooding intensity—-after all, songs like “Stagger Lee” and “Red Right Hand” aren’t exactly happy.

But Cave also seemed lighter and more cheerful than at previous performances. He even laughed a bit! The audience filled the aisles and the area in front of the stage, much to the chagrin of the folks who paid upwards of $200 for the VIP package that included seats in the first rows. But Cave dug it. “Come closer,” he told the crowd at one point, before realizing that the seats in front were blocked. (“What an annoying fucking place,” he said.) The audience pushed in as close and tight to the stage as possible, especially when Cave waded into the crowd. He may look dark as the devil and sing ballads about murder, but to his adoring crowd on Wednesday, he was God.

See photos from the show in the gallery.