Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds delivered a stonking SXSW set at Stubb's BBQ on Wednesday (March 13, 2013), with the enigmatic frontman stalking around the stage at the NPR Music showcase and announcing, "We're going to start off with a really long song, and hopefully by the time we're done, it'll be dark."

It would set the tone for a mysterious but brilliant set from Cave and his band, which included the Australian wordlessly mocking his texting fans by imitating their thumb movements - there were more than a few red hipster faces in the crowd. Cave, who played several songs from his well-received new record Push The Sky Away, is one of the highlight acts at this year's festival in Austin, Texas, which also features performances from Kendrick Lamar, Justin Timberlake, Prince, Sound City Players, Green Day and Depeche Mode. 

Cave has written movie scripts, novels and several great songs over the years, though speaking at the 27th annual South by Southwest Music and Media Conference earlier this week, he explained how it never gets any easier. "There are all these nasty births," he said of spawning new material,  "[It's like] pushing burning watermelons out of a tiny orifice."

As mentioned, legendary singer Prince will close the South by Southwest Festival with an intimate show for competition winners on Saturday evening. 

Nick CaveNick Cave Performed A Blistering Set At SXSW