So spoke Nick Cave as he returned to the stage at the Playhouse Theater on Monday night.

Three standing ovations, two callbacks, and a haunting night of music were powerful reminders of how much we’ve missed live music since the lockdown began – and how much we needed it.

The masks we had to wear to comply with regulations weren’t here or there – a piece of cloth on my coupon is a small price to pay for such an amazing night like this.

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Nick Cave on stage at the Edinburgh Playhouse

Hope this is the first of many.

I’ve been going to concerts since I was a teenager, and 18 months without a torn ticket stub, purchased tour t-shirt, or program added to the collection was “way too long.”

I’m the saddo who arrives early and watch the room fill up, drinking in the hubbub as he gets bigger by the minute, then these signs point it’s almost time – the lighting crews climb the portico , the stage suddenly empties of roadies and technicians, and the background music rises by a few decibels.

If 2020 was the year the music stopped, then 2021 was the year it was rescheduled, re-edited, and canceled as multiple false starts left everyone wondering if we would have only the left. memories of great past concerts.

Fife Flyers Hockey Show, hosted with Fife Free Press – on stage, Allan Crow (Pic: Derek Young)

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Charlotte Church led her remarkable group through a mind-boggling set in Summerhall until around 3:00 am; sweat was dripping from the ceiling.

Bruce Springsteen turned Wembley Arena into a party hall on Pete Seeger’s tour and had to be transported off the stage while his audience made eight reels.

Paul Simon in Hyde Park delivering the entire Graceland album with the original musicians, and ending with ‘You Can Call Me Al’ which made 45,000 of us dance in total joy.

Watch Damien Rice smile as half his audience crowded on stage to be backing singers at Usher Hall, and Ray Lamontagne on the same stage, the most awkward and restless frontman of all time and yet when he sang, everything simply breathtaking

Drinking in the scale and spectacle of Les Miserables and the Lion King, and falling asleep late at night by Radio4 jazz shindig at the Fringe, only to be awakened by a singer screaming like a wounded hyena.

And festivals filled with incredible moments, many of them on small stages and big tops – from Butefest in Rothesay to Festival No6 in Portmeirion.

The call of memories continues long into the night, starting with my very first concert in 1979 – Nazareth at Usher Hall in Edinburgh – until my last before the lockdown, Cash Back In Fife where we joined Rab Noakes , Ian Rankin, Dean Owens and Fay Fife at the Woodside Hotel in Aberdour for a celebration of Johnny Cash’s ties to Fife.

And now, finally, the first of a new beginning. I don’t remember a concert where I was so wrapped up from start to finish.

We need more nights like this. Much more – because life without live music is the grayest of existences.

Finally, we relearn how to be an audience. We relearn how to be a group.

Our columns are a platform for writers to express their opinions. They do not necessarily represent the opinions of The Fife Free Press.