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No Cure for this insanity

August 18th, 2004

I’m stuck in Cure-land this past week. The concert made me yearn for more and I have been listening to nothing but The Cure the past seven days, primarily their new album. I must say I am really addicted to several of the songs on it, most notably, alt.end which is to be their next U.S. single. This is their best album in ten years which explains why everyone loved the concert so much.

A girl at work and I have been emailing each other, comparing our Cure collection, ever since we found out we were both at the concert. She was cracking me up because even though I told her I own all their albums and singles, she kept asking me, “Do you have this one?” to which I always replied yes. The only thing she had that I didn’t was a couple of bootlegs that she’s going to bring in for me to copy. So last night I burned her a disc of rare Cure MP3s including Lost Wishes. I love meeting die-hard Cure fans.

Want to laugh? Well, I just put together a spreadsheet noting the setlist of each of the four Cure concerts I’ve been to. Turns out that I’ve heard a total of 67 unique songs live. And apparently these are Robert’s favorite songs because I’ve yet to attend a concert where they weren’t played: Disintegration, Fascination Street, From The Edge Of The Deep Green Sea, Inbetween Days, and Just Like Heaven.

Further proof I wasn’t imagining how great the concert was, here’s a great review from the Pioneer Press:

Heavenly Cure

BY LENORE KRASNER

Robert Smith lingered for a few moments near the stage exit at the Tweeter Center. He stood alone smiling at the crowd after his Cure bandmates had left. His reluctance was clearly reciprocated by fans who stayed put and cheered for more.

For more than 25 years, the British band, led by 45-year-old singer Smith, has given its own brand of multifaceted rock to the world: sparse post-punk, lush romantic ballads, successful pop tunes, dark grand epics.

The Cure is headlining its own 23-city U.S. festival, dubbed Curiosa, bringing two stages of Cure-chosen bands with them. The tour brought them to the Chicago area last week, with an Aug. 12 show at the Tweeter Center in Tinley Park.

Their set largely mixed songs from the band’s new self-titled album with tracks from 1989’s Disintegration, plus a good portion of their earlier pop hits.

No matter the song, Smith and his fellow musicians brought an immense level of emotion, reflected in expression and voice, to the whole evening, whether on Lost and Anniversary from the new album, or the older heart-pounding One Hundred Years and Disintegration.

Smith raged on his guitar during the main set’s closer, The Promise, a mournful 10-minute song. And it was and always is an absolute joy to watch longtime Cure bassist Simon Gallup, with a Sex Pistols sticker on his bass, play across the stage and down to the floor and back.

Smith appeared in an exceptionally playful and happy mood throughout the evening, smiling and chatting between songs. Much of the concert was a sing-along-with-Robert event. Fans started their collaboration with Lovesong and Inbetween Days, and soared even more at the first notes of Just Like Heaven.

It’s difficult to see why some people continue to push the old clich’s that the Cure is gothic, gloomy and depressing. Even the band’s sadder songs are elevated by gorgeous instrumentation and Smith’s unique, haunting voice.

While some were likely hoping for this more so-called darker part of the Cure catalogue, the encore finished with a rousing round of more pop. The choices may have been the subject of off-stage debate, with Smith losing. “Everyone says I always get my way, wrong!” he announced, as they broke into 1985’s Close to Me. A fun version of The Lovecats, which they rarely played live until this past December, followed, with Smith clearly enjoying hamming it up in his endearing, geeky way.

The festival included second-stage acts Head Automatica, Cooper Temple Clause and Melissa Auf De Maur.

Scotland’s Mogwai, a huge wall-of-sound band, led off the first stage with a mostly instrumental set, followed by the high-energy cowbell-playing dance-punk of the Rapture.

The seats finally started filling in for New York’s Interpol, which played a great crowd-moving set of tunes from its debut CD, Turn On the Bright Lights, and the forthcoming album, Antics.

But it was the Cure who clearly took over the event.

“Thank you for a (expletive) great day,” said Smith. “See you again.”

Hope so.

For more information on The Cure and the Curiosa festival, visit the band’s official site at www.thecure.com, and visit www.chainofflowers.com for the latest Cure news including fan reviews, articles, concert photos and audio/video files.

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