Sunday, May 11, 2008

THE CURE "Live In 2008" My Review...

The Cure's Robert Smith, at Wachovia Spectrum,
Saturday, May 10th, 2008


fascination street
a strange day
the walk
the end of the world
kyoto song
pictures of you
maybe someday
the perfect boy
from the edge of the deep green sea
the only one
how beautiful you are
in between days
just like heaven
never enough
wrong number
one hundred years


if only tonight we could sleep
the kiss

Encore 2:

freak show
close to me
why can't i be you?

Encore 3:

three imaginary boys
fire in cairo
boys don't cry
jumping someone else's train
grinding halt
10:15 saturday night
killing an arab

Sighhhhhh!!!! I am not sure if that is a sigh of relief, or a sigh from an empty feeling in my stomach, probably both. Anyone who has been a fan of the Cure from, say any point up to 2004, knows 2 big facts: 1. The line up has changed often through-out the years and 2.There have always been keyboards, minimal, to outstanding amounts, in most of their songs, certainly on all of their albums. Since the successful 2004 resurfacing, with a new hit album, the band has gone through a devastating change. The line up that stayed consistantly strong from 1995-2004 was abruptly changed, when Roger O' Donnell (Keyboardist for the albums Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me, Disintegration, Wild Mood Swings, Bloodflowers, and 2004's The Cure) and Perry Bamonte (Guitars/keys for albums Wish,Wild Mood Swings, Bloodflowers, and 2004's The Cure) were suddenly and awkwardly "removed" from the Cure, by Robert Smith. Well, at least that is what the public was told. Weird. Oh well, I guess Robert will get a new guitarist, and a new keyboardist, right? After all, they are back on top. A whole new generation of emotionally distressed high schoolers are all over this band. Certainly, it will all be fine......

Fast forward to the "New Cure"

It is 2008, a new album is coming out,the band is a 4 piece, with NO keyboardist. Porl Thompson is back in the band (an original member of the band, who was out of the band before they even released Three Imaginary Boys, he is the most important member next to Simon and Robert. Porl played on The Top, The Head On The Door,Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me,Disintegration,and Wish) this is absolutely BRILLIANT news. The idea is that the band will focus on re-crafting the classic set list, without the use of keys, leaning heavily on Porl's guitar icon status.The new album is hinted to having no keys at all. This part of the band, i HATE, and before last night's show I would have told you EVERY SONG that has keyboards, still needs them and will not be as magical without them. A bunch of us went last night to see the band play Philadelphia. I had seem them 3 times on the 2004 Curiosa tour. They were so good. The Set lists were different each night. I heard probably every song I needed to hear. I loved them!!!!
 It is May 2008, the album is still not done. Who cares, right? We got treated to songs we actually know, and that was important, while redeeming my spending so much on a ticket. The band is over 30 years old. Scary. Only a matter of time, eh?

The band greeted the stage, pretty much looking the way you would expect.Porl, looking like your dad trying to stay young (Dude, Dorothy called from the land of Oz, she wants her ruby i mean platform shoes back) Robert looked healthier than i expected. A little fat in the face due to his age, and would look thinner if he wore clothes that fit. All in all, with a wig, Robert would look like 90s Robert. Simon still takes the cake as the best aged member. He keeps the goth make up thing minimal and keeps it real, thank you Simon. Jason (The only late 90s era member still in the band) looked slightly more like he is in a band, unlike the past where he looked like your hip math teacher.

Now, the show, the songs, the sound...

We were seated about 30 feet away from the band. We had no idea our tickets were there, and we were surprised by a comfortable seating arrangement. That alone, made any future disappointment still "worth it".
 The band opened up with the classic "Tape" intro that was heard on the Wish tour, followed, of course, by Open. They sounded very loud, and the song sounded just like the album. I was relieved. This vibe continued through-out the entire gig, with the exception of a couple of songs. With occasional back tracking to supply keyboards where they were absolutely needed, I had to wonder why Robert didn't make the keyboards available for the rest of the songs. I mean, come on. The band, compliments to Porl, re-crafted the songs, into a more edgy rock sounding Cure. This did not take away from the songs, again, beside the few songs where it did not work. I expected to see the band coming off tired from the same old thing, and this new direction made the band seem more excited and that gave us a better show. Everyone's performance was OUTSTANDING. Robert moved over near to us occasionally, and we all took turns yelling to him and cheering. Of course, I had to yell "Get your fucking keyboards, Robert" but that was just so I could say I tried to be a good fan. There were things that made this concert special to me. There were fewer things that distracted me from my belief that The Cure is my favorite band. All in all, they still got it. Any lacking integrity is due to them making stupid decisions, NOT due to being too old to rock, or too tired to keep up. In fact, they played for just under 3 hours. It would have been 3 hours, had the band kept playing, instead of the tired "Lets go backstage and re-emerge a few minutes later) These "encore" practices are awkward to me. Alright, I love The Cure. Always will. That will never change. They can put out horrible albums from here on out, and I can still keep the 30 years of music they made up til this point, close to my heart!!!! Those classic Cure songs will be buried in my casket with me. How beautiful they are!!!!

Concert highlights:
Strange Day
Kyoto Song
Pictures Of You
If Only Tonight We Could Sleep
The Kiss
the SECOND HALF of 100 Years.
Encore 3
The seating, and company I had with me

Songs that sucked without keyboards or just sucked:
How beautiful you are
Why can't I be you?
Just like heaven
the FIRST HALF of 100 Years.

Other worthy mentions:
The Song freakshow, I don't know what to think of that. 
My irritable bowel issues that I had to take care of at an arena bathroom. Ugh.
Concert tour shirt prices. $40 a shirt. Kiss my irritable ass.

Enough on that, I am certainly going to remember my night, and I am excited about that new album. There is going to be a new single released every month, until the official album release in September, so keep an eye out, maybe Robert can still squeeze diamonds out of that old gothic ass of his!!!

1 comment:

Mike said...

You beat me to the review!

I thought the second show was overall better than the first. I'd never seen them play "The Kiss" live...WOW! Why they thought it was a good idea to follow up that amazing-ness with "Freak Show" escapes all logic to me.

Oh, and I was right by the way....we walked all the way around that damn building and back to where I said we needed to go. Rick sucks!