The Shrine Auditorium, June 1, 2008
By Rita Neyter
Last Sunday was an absolutely bright and beautiful day, but as the sun slowly descended over the Shrine Auditorium, the Cure cast a powerful spell of June gloom over the sold-out capacity crowd. Captivating the audience with almost three hours of music carefully picked and plucked from their 12 previous albums, the band also showcased a couple of new tracks, “The Perfect Boy” & “Sleep When I’m Dead,” from their yet to be titled 13th release, due out in September.
The Cure at the Shrine, "Pictures of You"
Just as we found our seats in the very last row of the orchestra section, the room filled with cheers and the first notes of “Out of This World,” (Bloodflowers), followed by a double shot from the Disintegration era, the lovelorn “Pictures of You” and shadowy “Fascination Street,” both played as perfectly as their recorded counterparts.
As excited as we were, singing and swaying with the music, the rest of the crowd, in comparison, appeared sedate and zombified and many weren't even goths! But as the show motored on into its second hour the audience started showing some signs of life by ‘putting their hands up to the sky’ during, “From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea.” The energy levels kept intensifying for crowd pleasers like creepy-crawly “Lullaby” and graceful pop gem “Just Like Heaven.”
The Cure at the Shrine, "Just Like Heaven"
The band seemed in good spirits, seeing many smiles and hearing many warm thank-yous from a shyly awkward and somewhat uncomfortable Robert Smith, who looks like a cross between a life-size voodoo doll and a black-clad teddy bear. Longtime on and off again guitarist Porl Thompson looked stage-ready with his raccoon eye make-up and black vinyl pants, as shiny as his silver guitar. Drummer Jason Cooper, the new guy, only with the band for 13 years, showed the greatest stamina on stage, but the night belonged to bassist Simon Gallup, the backbone to the Cure’s tight sound. Gallup was celebrating his 48th birthday on stage with us and also performed along as Smith serenaded him with a birthday song during the final encore, “Faith.”
The Cure at the Shrine, "10:15 on A Saturday Night"
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And speaking of finales there were, in fact, three encores that night. The first revisited my favorite Cure album Disintegration, with the darkly cold “Plainsong” giving way to the epic title track. The second encore took everyone back in time to the old-schools’ and die-hards’ favorites including, post-punky “Three Imaginary Boys,” the catchy “Boys Don’t Cry,” drip-drip-drippy “10:15 Saturday Night,” and finally “Killing an Arab.” One of the most satisfying, if not completely exhausting, shows I’ve ever experienced.
The Cure at the Shrine, "Boys Don't Cry"