The Cure please multiple generations at Cricket - East Valley Tribune: Get Out

The Cure please multiple generations at Cricket

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Posted: Thursday, August 26, 2004 10:26 am | Updated: 5:05 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

August 26. 2004

It wasn’t Friday, but the thousands of devoted Cure fans in attendance at Wednesday’s “Curiosa” festival at Cricket Pavilion were in love with what they saw.

It wasn’t Friday, but the thousands of devoted Cure fans in attendance at Wednesday’s “Curiosa” festival at Cricket Pavilion were in love with what they saw.

“The Cure is the most beautiful thing on Earth,” said Natalie Cunningham of Mesa.

The crowd was both enthusiastic and appreciative to see the legendary alternative rock band play the Valley for the first time in years. A headlining performance at this year’s Coachella festival in Indio, Calif. was considered disappointing by many and lukewarm reviews of their recently released self-titled album led some to believe The Cure was over the hill. Wednesday night’s show, however, left most attendees thoroughly satisfied.

“It was amazing,” said Zach Huff, of Phoenix, a veteran of Cure concerts. “They played a lot of songs they don’t normally play.”

This gig came at the tail end of a very successful summer for The Cure. The single “The End of the World” has dominated modern rock airwaves and the band’s ambitious tour pairs them with younger artists they’ve influenced such as Interpol and The Rapture.

Valley fans were fortunate to hear one of the most diverse set lists of the tour — even lead singer Robert Smith acknowledged as much, noting, “We’re playing a really, really weird selection of songs.”

Apart from the compulsory greatest hits and selections from the latest album, the band expanded into deeper, often drearier cuts from their more than 25 years of history. Although the more obscure album tracks risked losing the attention of casual fans, the quality of the performance kept nearly everyone engaged.

The Cure took the stage to thunderous applause with many fans enjoying their first opportunity to see the band in concert. Well into his 40s, Smith looked as iconic as ever (though the lighting may have done him favors), with his trademark makeup and wiry mop of hair. They opened with a couple of lesser-known-but-fan-favorite tracks: “Plainsong” from 1989’s “Disintegration” and “Shake Dog Shake” from 1984’s “The Top.”

“The End of the World,” followed and was the first song to really get the crowd going. The band built on this energy and launched into their signature hit “Lovesong,” perhaps teaching a lesson or two to the younger folks who had only heard the recent, tepid 311 cover of the track. It was followed by a note-perfect performance of 1985’s “In-Between Days,” another crowd pleaser. Two more songs from “The Head on the Door” album followed.

An extended performance of classic lost-love-lament-turned-digital-camera-jingle, “Pictures Of You,” inspired a singalong, and Smith led an especially moving rendition of their newest single, “Before Three.” “One Hundred Years,” a dreary, morbid track from 1982’s “Pornography” album was accompanied by disturbing, sometimes graphic images of war. Although the pictures were from years past, the connection to modern global politics was clear.

The first encore featured two songs permanently etched in the alternative rock canon: faithful versions of “Boys Don’t Cry” and the ubiquitous “Just Like Heaven.”

A second encore was in order and it featured upbeat tracks “Lovecats” and “Why Can’t I Be You?”

It was a perfect ending to the show, but fitting with the bizarro nature of the night’s set list, the band followed it up with yet another encore, showcasing two more obscure songs, “A Forest,” and ending the two hour-plus concert with “Forever.”

Lauren Gesslar of Chandler had only one complaint: “I was disappointed that they didn’t play ‘Friday I’m In Love,’” likely the biggest mainstream hit not performed. “Everything else was amazing.”

“I didn’t think I’d ever get a chance to see them” said James Clark of Mesa, referring to the band’s announced retirement four years ago. “But it definitely lived up to my expectations.”

The show kicked off at 5 p.m. with moody, Scottish experimentalists Mogwai. Subsequent bands alternated on two stages, although the path to the second one — located in a far corner of the outdoor venue’s parking lot — was as winding as the lawn maze in “The Shining.” This did not dissuade game concertgoers who shuffled between stages after each set.

The early, weekday start time meant that the first few bands, including The Rapture and Cooper Temper Clause played to sparse, but dedicated groups of listeners. The pavilion began to fill up at about 6 p.m., when much-hyped indie stars Interpol took the main stage. The NYC rockers gave fans a preview of next month’s release, “Antics,” and played several cuts from 2002’s critically lauded “Turn On The Bright Lights.”

Rousing art rockers Cursive, boasting the unique claim of being an alternative band prominently featuring a celloist, closed down the second stage. Both Cursive and Interpol thanked The Cure for giving them a spot on the tour and the chance to perform in much larger venues than their norm. After Cursive wrapped up their set with “Art Is Hard,” from 2003’s “The Ugly Organ,” the crowd did not waste time, rushing back to their seats to not miss a minute of the headlining act.

The near-sellout audience was an interesting hodgepodge of aging Generation X’ers, younger baby boomers and college to high school age students, many of whom were not on this mortal coil when The Cure formed in 1976.

“I grew up listening to The Cure,” said Andrew Cowley, 14, of Tempe, the fact that Robert Smith and company had already released eight LPs by the he was born not lessening his excitement.

The Cure set list:

Plainsong

Shake Dog Shake

Labyrinth

From The Edge Of The Deep Green Sea

The End Of The World

Anniversary

Lovesong

In-Between Days

Push

Sinking

Pictures Of You

Maybe Someday

Before Three

Alt.End

A Strange Day

One Hundred Years

Disintegration

Encore one:

(I Don’t Know What’s Going) On

Charlotte Sometimes

Just Like Heaven

Boys Don’t Cry

Encore two:

Close To Me

Lovecats

Why Can’t I Be You?

Encore three:

A Forest

Forever

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