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The Cure @ UIC Pavilion

June 11th, 2016 Comments off

Last night’s show was AMAZING! But let me back up a bit…

We decided to head toward the venue super early to avoid the nastiness that is Friday rush hour traffic into the city. We left the house at 2:30 pm and arrived at 4 pm, stopping at a Thai restaurant for dinner. Then we went a few blocks down the street to a bar where Joe had a couple of beers and we played darts to pass the time. We got to the venue a little after 6 pm and waited for the long line outside to dissipate before leaving the cool confines of our car to deal with the 99° heat.

Once inside I hit the bathroom before we located our seats. We were in the nosebleed section – 215, Row J, seats 19 and 20 (which was only one away from being on the aisle). A guy who sat there briefly left, thank god, because his bright phone screen was distracting me.

The Cure - Chicago 2016

Even though it felt pretty cold in the air-conditioned building when we arrived it was rather warm and stuffy inside, particularly in the balcony area. Turns out I didn’t need the sweater I brought along at all! Incidentally, I wore my favorite Cure-bird t-shirt and didn’t see one other person wearing one. Not even that many people were wearing Cure t-shirts at all, in fact. I have to wonder how many people even recognized mine other than the woman outside the venue who stopped me to compliment it. She got into The Cure in 1992 which is just a year after I did.

As always, the security at the venue was a joke. Pat-downs for the men and just a purse search for the women. No metal detectors.

The venue itself sucks because the hallways are too narrow to accommodate traffic. Plus there are literally two bathrooms in the entire place, both of which are on the 1st level on opposite ends of the building. We tried to go down there for some water and to use the restroom between the opening act (The Twilight Sad who was surprisingly good) and The Cure coming on and went right back to our seats because it was wall to wall people. I did end up going back down there by myself right before The Cure was due to come on but it was hell pushing through the crowd to even get to the bathroom. I couldn’t even tell where the line to get water was so I went back to my seat without any (and since it was so warm I was parched).

One more complaint before I get to the show itself – WTF is up with people constantly getting up during these events? Luckily most of the people in our row stayed seated like we did (I didn’t even end up going to the bathroom again until we got home hour four hours later) but so many people, many of the same ones, were up and down ALL night. You came to see a band – sit the fuck down and watch! Jeez! I’ve got lots of idiots blocking my recordings (and I kept my phone low so as not to disturb the people around me) because they couldn’t sit still.

And shame on the venue for not replacing the burnt out bulb over our staircase. Every other one in the venue was lit, but ours was in complete darkness so we had all these people shining their phone flashlights in our faces trying to read the row numbers to find their seats. The labeling could be better anyway.

Also, these two woman sitting behind us couldn’t STFU during the opening act. I was just about to turn around and give them a peace of my mind when they left because they weren’t in the right seats anyway. /rant

Now for the good stuff – the show!

The Cure - Chicago 2016

This was my sixth time seeing The Cure live and I think it was their best show yet. Joe definitely thought so and he’s seen them twice before. They started the show with Shake Dog Shake which was a welcome surprise instead of something like Plainsong or Want. From there it just got better and better. I took a ton of video, recording a total of 16 full songs, which is way more than I planned on taking but wanted them for the memories. They aren’t really great, so check out this guy’s because they are professional quality!

Robert was talkative between some songs and even joked about how unintelligible he tends to be when speaking to the audience. During that segment we could actually understand him which was nice but he quickly fell back into his old pattern of mumbling as the evening progressed.

In all they played 32 songs, 10 of which I’ve never heard live before. One of those was The Top, which they haven’t played live in the U.S. in 32 years!!! Here’s a short snippet from my recording.

Pretty amazing, even if I didn’t get to hear A Forest like I was hoping. They’ll probably play it tonight at the second Chicago show. I know people will be periscoping it but I won’t be able to watch because we’ll be at B’s girlfriend’s birthday pool party. I’ll be interested to see the set list later tonight, though.

Here’s the full set list. I’ve highlighted the ten songs I’ve never heard live before.

Shake Dog Shake
Kyoto Song
Night Like This
All I Want
Push
Primary
Pictures of You
Like Cockatoos
The Perfect Girl
Screw
The Walk
Charlotte Sometimes
Lovesong
Just Like Heaven
Jupiter Crash
From The Edge Of The Deep Green Sea
One Hundred Years
Give Me It

1st Encore
The Top

2nd Encore
Want
Never Enough
Fascination Street
Burn

3rd Encore
The Exploding Boy
In Between Days
Doing The Unstuck
Friday I’m In Love

4th Encore
Lullaby
Let’s Go To Bed
Close to Me
Why Can’t I Be You
Boys Don’t Cry

And here’s a link to my favorite Cure fan site with details about last night’s show including links to other videos taken.

Categories: Excursions, Music, Photos Tags:

The Cure 2016

October 9th, 2015 Comments off

CureTour2016

What should have been a joyous occasion – buying tickets to see The Cure next year in Chicago – turned into two days of frustration.

Pre-sale yesterday – couldn’t grab any tickets whatsoever even though I was on the site, and logged in, hours beforehand. Yet within minutes there were a ton on StubHub. WTF? Tell me Ticketmaster doesn’t have some deal with the scalpers. I won’t believe you anyway.

Public sale today – Eventually got locked out of the Ticketmaster site. Not even sure why. Hitting search too fast? In any case, on a Cure fan site a girl suggested I try the Ticketmaster app. That wasn’t looking any better but surprisingly about 45 minutes after the sale went live I was able to snag two tickets. Sure, they are balcony and almost as far back as you can get, but at least they are stage right where Robert usually stands. Although at this point I’m not too happy with him so I’m not sure why I care.

The more I think about it, the more pissed off I am at The Cure for not taking measures to stop scalping. You can check all the resale sites and there are just tons of tickets on there even though fans weren’t able to get any. If I hadn’t persisted, well, I guess we wouldn’t be going because I refuse to buy from a scalper. I just can’t in good conscience support that behavior. I really wish everyone else would band together and refuse too; there wouldn’t be scalpers if they didn’t make any money.

I’m really not sure what made The Cure choose one of the smallest possible Chicago venue you could think of – UIC Pavilion. It seats less than 7000 people and for some reason they didn’t add a second show like they did for the other two venues. Rumor is they might be headlining a festival in Tennessee that weekend. Once again, Chicago gets screwed. Isn’t that always the way? Just like how they’ll play A Forest at most cities during their tour but not when they play Chicago. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say Robert hates our town. Well, the feeling is starting to become mutual. I love their music, but I’m starting to really dislike the band because I don’t feel like they care who gets their hands on tickets so long as they make money. Then again, this isn’t anything new – I’ve never felt like The Cure cares about their fans in the way that other bands obviously do.

I guess the bright side to the small venue is even my “crappy” tickets won’t be as bad as the same tickets at Allstate Arena. I’ve also been told that the acoustics at UIC are pretty good, so there’s that.

But I’m going to say this now, and I mean it – this is it for me. If The Cure tours again after this, I’m not buying tickets unless they get rid of Ticketmaster and/or put some measure in place to minimize scalping. So I will try my best to enjoy my last Cure concert this coming June.

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The Cure @ Lollapalooza

August 7th, 2013 Comments off

As it got closer to last Sunday I started wondering whether we should have purchased Lollapalooza tickets after all. I even went so far as to check ticket prices on StubHub and Craigslist. There were plenty of tickets to be had for face value and above. $200 to see my favorite band? Yay or nay?

I ended up deciding against it. I just couldn’t bring myself to spend $200 to attend a packed festival (attendance was a record-breaking 300,000 people) on a Sunday night even though Joe had Monday off from work. Picturing having to locate parking and navigate through a sea of people seemed daunting. I felt a bit sad, but then I learned that they planned to stream the concert live (well, turns out it was aired with a 15 minute delay, but still not too shabby). So I set my alarm for 8 PM, since the webcast was scheduled to start at 8:15 PM, and went about my day.

Once 8:00 PM rolled around I was on my computer and loading the website. Actually, I tested it earlier as well and discovered a new-to-me artist called Steve Aoki that I plan to learn more about since I loved his sound. Anyway, I was blown away by the video and sound quality of the webcast: it was phenomenal! Not only that, but they aired The Cure’s act in its entirety. Wow, I was not expecting that! I had a good time reading Twitter updates live during the show, as well as chatting in the comments of my favorite Cure fan site. And I’m so so glad we didn’t actually go because I had better seats at home! And while I think they sounded quite good (although for the love of god, please stop playing Wrong Number at shows, it sounds terrible), they did nearly all pop music for the entire two hours. We got Disintegration and One Hundred Years but that was about it for the deeper stuff. Sorry, but I don’t count Plainsong since they often use it as a dramatic way to open a show.

What I hold against Robert, however, is that he pulled A Forest (as well as Bananafishbones and Hot Hot Hot) from the set-list, which he has seemingly done to Chicago fans since 2000. Seriously, every time they tour, A Forest is played at the majority of shows. Then they come to Chicago, I get all excited thinking they will play it, and they don’t. WTF!??! Don’t they know that’s my favorite Cure song of all time? Don’t they care? I’m starting to feel like it’s some personal slight against Chicago. Damn you Robert Smith!

In case you missed it, here’s the show in its entirety.

Setlist: Plainsong, Pictures of You, Lullaby, High, The End of the World, Lovesong, Inbetween Days, Just Like Heaven, From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea, The Walk, Mint Car, Friday I’m In Love, Doing the Unstuck, Trust, Want, Fascination Street, The Hungry Ghost, Wrong Number, One Hundred Years, Disintegration

Encore: The Lovecats, The Caterpillar, Close To Me, Let’s Go To Bed, Why Can’t I Be You?, Boys Don’t Cry.

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The Cure

April 4th, 2013 1 comment

I made the decision not to buy tickets to see The Cure at Lollapalooza and what did I read today? That Robert Smith apparently said he’s retiring at age 55 which is next year. I sure hope that’s just another empty threat, or he comes out of retirement shortly thereafter, otherwise I’m going to be pretty sad that I passed up my last opportunity to see him live again (tickets are sold out so it’s not like I can get them now even if I wanted to).

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Lollapalooza 2013

April 1st, 2013 Comments off

Lollapalooza

I’ve never attended Lollapalooza and had no plans on ever doing so; crowded outdoor festivals in the summer heat hold no appeal to me whatsoever. Then I learned that The Cure is one of the headliners this year. I was eagerly awaiting the official lineup announcement, which came this morning, to find out which day The Cure would be playing and what other bands might be sharing the stage with them.

Much to my dismay, The Cure is playing on Sunday, August 4th. As headliners they will likely be playing in the evening which means we would have to get there early to secure decent seats even though there aren’t any other good bands playing on Sunday (why oh why does New Order have to be playing on Friday???) and we would have to take that Monday off or suffer the consequences of lack of sleep (I’m going to assume for the moment that I’ll have a job by then). Basically we’d be trekking downtown in the heat and battling the crowds to pay $200+ just to see The Cure. Needless to say, as much as I love that band I’m leaning towards not going.

Making a final decision would be so much easier if I knew whether The Cure plans on touring the U.S. anytime soon. If so I wouldn’t hesitate to skip their Lollapalooza appearance. As it stands now there’s a 25% chance I’ll be begrudgingly purchasing tickets on Wednesday.

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