Cure review

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Matabele

Journey Man
As I know there are several Cure fans that frequent these boards I thought I'd write up a little review of their Melbourne concert.

I've always regretted not making their 1992 shows, so I just HAD to make this tour!

“And tired disguised oblivion
Is everything I do”


Filing into the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne on Sunday night it was hard not to think that these might indeed be Robert Smith’s sentiments ahead of yet another concert in yet another city.

It seemed the crowd was largely made up of thirty-somethings who’d ditched the suit and tie of their current corporate endeavors for a weekend of reminiscing about those angst-ridden teenage days when Robert crooned their pain away in his indomitable style.

So they filed in:

The Patrick Bateman look-alike possessing big hair complete with flick;
The foppish poof resplendent in pastel rouge;
And an army of obligatory Goths, black lipstick and eye shadow crusted with age and disuse.

Indeed, you could nearly be fooled into believing that a time capsule had arrived from destination 1985 and purged this crowd into Melbourne’s Twenty-First Century streets.

If it weren’t for the fact that the lathering of gel, mousse and make-up could not conceal the encroaching wrinkles and the tan lines left by removed wedding rings.

And as the strains of “Open” burst around the arena, followed by a play list containing the usual smattering of Cure favourites, all delivered pitch perfectly by the driven and innate Robert Smith the mind starts to wonder - is this Groundhog Day, the Cure style?

1187087675_5_FT157250_img024.jpg


I’m being harsh there perhaps.

Because the opening “set” was still one helluva show. Sure it only contained two songs from the Cure’s latest releases, but it’s pretty darned hard to complain when for the first two hours they drew heavily from stand out albums like Head on the Door, Kiss me, kiss me, kiss me and Wish.

The Cure present something of a conundrum best encapsulated by a comment from one of the Goths on the show’s exit - “every blonde teenager should be made to listen to that concert”. The obvious insinuation being that this was no Gwen Stefani sugar pop offering.

Except that 50 percent of the crowd were indeed the blonde cheerleader types from twenty years ago. And therein lies the strange attraction of the Cure.

Dressed up to the eyes
It's a wonderful surprise
To see your shoes and your spirits rise
Throwing out your frown
And just smiling at the sound
And as sleek as a shriek
Spinning round and round
Always take a big bite
It's such a gorgeous sight
It's Friday I'm in love


Truth is the Cure have churned out more than a few pop gems in their time. Given his aptitude with the catchy riff it’s hard not to think that Robert Smith could have taken the Cure to a Beatle-like status as purveyors of catchy and accessible pop.

And the frat girls had shining eyes as they sung along to a veritable soundtrack of sunny skies and happy memories, Friday I’m in Love, Close to me, Hot,hot,hot and Boys don’t cry.

The most noticeable thing about this concert was the inventiveness of the three themed encores and one of them churned out the pop mania in a way that bought the crowd alight.

This though was not the high point for the hardcore Cure fan. I will count myself with those that waited patiently for the fluff to vaporise before we could get our teeth into the meat of that other cure staple. The one that has confounded the commercial critics - the anthemic dirge.

Never never never never never let me go she says
Hold me like this for a hundred thousand million days
But suddenly she slows
And looks down at my breaking face
Why do you cry? what did I say?
But it's just rain I smile
Brushing my tears away...

I wish I could just stop
I know another moment will break my heart
Too many tears
Too many times
Too many years I've cried over you

How much more can we use it up?
Drink it dry?
Take this drug?
Looking for something forever gone
But something
We will always want?

And as they trotted out, the sound thumped around us, vibrated amongst us. Simon Gallop continually crouched over his bass guitar, Boris Williams thumped the skins, Porl Thompson making up for a lack of synthesizer with deft lead guitar work or standing admiringly as Robert strutted his stuff.

And always it was Robert centre-stage, howling into the wind, giving voice to the agony, the ecstasy and the urgent hoping for more than the present of the human condition.

And anthem followed anthem, From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea, Pictures of you, the blood, Push, Open and Close.

And it was around this time it became glaringly apparent that behind the gloomy melodrama there still lies a deep enjoyment of the task for these boys of the Cure.

Musically they are tight - each song rendered close to album-perfection, but with blaring intensity.

And watchers of the various Cure concert releases would have showed a new level of interaction with the crowd that has always been amusingly absent.

Robert ditches guitar to serenade the wings of the audience, Boris flashes a huge smile to a cheering crowd just before the final encore, Robert even manages to dance a little jig!

They’re enjoying this task and this is never more evident than during the final encore - a collection of pre-1985 stalwarts, some of which haven’t been performed in years.

Maybe this three and a half hour concert is more than delivering a Greatest Hits package for Generation X.

It’s a celebration of thirty years of giving voice to the human yearning for more than our current lot in life. Of giving recognition to the fact that even the highest attainments will not appease the pain of the messiness of our condition.

Never is this more evident than in the final song - a cheeky rendition of Killing an Arab that was “naughty” on release but now rendered politically fraught by events since August 2001.

Cure as political activists perhaps? Who’d have thought - there’s life in those old chords yet.
 

Chip and Chase

True Supporter
Staff member
Administrator
Premium Member
Tipping Member
Love the Cure, great band, went and saw their Wish tour a few years back now. Don't think I could bring myself to go now though, seems a little sad actually. Apart from the time he cut his hair, Smith hasn't really reinvented himself image wise or musically, which I find a bit strange in a way, a bit Peter Pan-esque.

Still I hope you had a good night, the Cure are one of the main artists on the soundtrack of my life.
 

Matabele

Journey Man
That’s the whole attraction of the Cure though isn’t it? They have really shunned the commercial imperatives to “re-invent” themselves and in doing so have become timeless.
 

byso

First Grader
I thought he didn't like flying. I remember in the 80's the fan's did some sort of petition to get them out here, probably just a publicity stunt.

Did they play more album versions of the songs or were the songs more drawn out like the 12" ep versions.

The cure had good music, I did find there image annoying though
 

Ryan

Journey Man
I must reply in detail to this thread - later - but in short - Love your work mate !
 

Chip and Chase

True Supporter
Staff member
Administrator
Premium Member
Tipping Member
They are kinda like Dave Dobbyn and the Herbs, only better, are international, and have more than one hit.
 

Matabele

Journey Man
I didn't realise NZ was that much of a backwater.

They performed in Auckland last night. The promotor managed to herd a large crowd into the Auckland Pen and pronounced the night a sexsuss.
 
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