The Cure concert Friday May 9th at the Patriot Center (a 10000-seat arena) was almost completely sold out and you could tell that it had been to long for many people since they had last seen Robert Smith and crew entertain them. The venue didn't really fill up until well after the opener, the UK band 65 Days Of Static , had let the stage. 65 Days Of Static were actually a bit different than expected and played a quick 30 minute set of more guitar jams then electronics, which is what I was expecting. The lead singer even joked "If you're here now, you're either really early or lost...but thanks for coming out".
Seeing Robert Smith come out on stage, at 49, still wearing oversized shirts and the dark (raccoon-like) eye makeup he is known for, I had a ear to ear grin. He also had his hair teased up as always,but there was a noticeable bald spot. The mostly 30-40 something crowd energetically sang along, clapped, danced and stood for over three hours as the band went through 39 songs picked from their 30 plus years in "alternative rock".
The Cure ,as they are now, have slimmed down and changed around their four members, with Smith and Porl Thompson on guitars, Simon Gallup still holding a low-slung bass (as if every song was super intense) and drummer Jason Cooper wailing away behind them all. Several times throughout the show there were some triggered synth sounds in the mix but the group revamped keyboard-heavy songs such as "The Lovecats," "The Walk" and "Close to Me" so that Porl could play them on guitar, with mixed results. The boys even included two new numbers into their hits-heavy set list, 'The Perfect Boy' (think Wish era), which Smith said was a "world premiere", and 'Freak Show' (think Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me era). The Cure then proceeded to come back for 3 encores. Yes, 3 encores, which ended up putting the show over the 3 hour mark. It was sweet.
After waiting for almost 8 months (the show was originally scheduled for last September) it was more than worth the wait. This was also the first night of the US tour and at the end of the third encore, Robert exclaimed"Thanks for making this the best fucking opening night ever!". The Cure sound just as good as they did back in their prime (with some noticeable aging) and the crowd loved every minute of it.
In case anyone cares...here is the set list for the show.
plainsong/ prayers for rain/ a strange day/ alt end/ the walk/ the end of the world/ lovesong/ to wish impossible things/ pictures of you/ lullaby/ the perfect boy/ from the edge of the deep green sea/ hot hot hot/ the only one/ push/ friday i’m in love/ inbetween days/ just like heaven/ primary/ shake dog shake/ never enough/ wrong number/ one hundred years/ disintegration
at night/ m/ play for today/ a forest
the lovecats/ let’s go to bed/ freak show/ close to me/ why can’t i be you?
boys don’t cry/ jumping someone else’s train/ grinding halt/ 10:15 saturday night/ killing an arab
Oh...and 'Disintegration' is still one of the best albums ever!!!!