at Chain of Flowers
The Cure rocked a sweltering Austin tonight in a minuscule venue. The band sounded stunningly vibrant and polished and yet raw enough to whip up the crowd into a manic frenzy, especially during the encores. I have never seen Robert so frenetic and giddy and loquacious. Porl was phenomenal, Simon one cool-ass punk, and Jason's drumming transcendently good.
A few highlights (and I have no doubt I have left out loads):
Lullaby - This song kind of bores me these days, but DAYUM if it didn't rock tonight! Robert played the keyboard parts on his guitar and it sounded wildly cool. And of course did all the requisite spider gestures with his hands.
Figurehead - Delectably dark and psychedelic. Porl ROCKED it and I felt like I was tripping. Made me really hanker for a solidly dark set.
Strange Day - Sounded amazing and Robert launched into this brief jazzy swingy dance during the part where he sings "And I laugh as I drift in the wind/Blind dancing on a beach of stone." It was seemingly incongruous to the mood of the song but somehow worked like magic. Quite funny!
Hanging Garden - Truly, it's a dark primal masterpiece live. Quite tribal sounding. Jason pounded it out!
Doing the Unstuck - Sounded ripping and euphoric and the crowd went nuts for it.
Torture - I wrote a poem inspired by this song way back in the day, and so I almost fainted with joy when they played this. Sounded soaringly good.
alt.end - Yes, alt.end. There are better songs from TC, truly (like LOST AND BEFORE THREE AND LABYRINTH, ROBERT), but Porl really embellishes this otherwise lackluster song with his swirling lines.
Killing An Arab - This was a frenzied, ferocious, scarily intense version of the post-punk classic. The best way that I can describe it is "psychedelic punk."
Encores - The old-school punky encores were insane. Just fucking psychotic. The band sounded so good I thought they might all just spontaneously explode on stage, and the crowd down on the floor was manic, pushing, shoving and jumping up and down and singing. Actually, my ribs were almost crushed and I was very unhappy at times because of this, but the encores were frighteningly good anyway. And the entire venue was rocking along to the songs. At the end of A Forest, Simon thrashed his bass like he was high on meth and was dripping sweat profusely. And the band really fed off the crowd's energy.
The new stuff was well received and Perfect Boy sounded just incredible. I would have liked to hear UTS and BRDB of course, too. The crowd in the front (where I was) seemed to know the words to the new songs, thanks to COF. :-)
Robert was very talkative but mumbly so I couldn't understand ANYTHING he said. He was rather interactive with the audience at times, coming to the front of the stage to pose, pull crazy faces, smile, etc. He would break into giddy dances, too, or do his surreal facial and physical gestures he is so famous for, and seemed to be having the most excellent ebullient time of it. Simon was bouncy and prowly and "gallupy" as usual and Porl was almost too polished and vibrant for words. Jason, too, was just thrashingly good.
At the end of the show, Robert looked very sad that they had to end. He had an apologetic look on his face and very humbly looked at the audience and smiled shyly when people screamed for him. He walked to both sides of the stage before the lights went up and seemed very hurt that they had to stop playing. He pointed at his watch and shrugged his shoulders a bit sadly.
Honestly, and I'm not using hyperbole when I say this, but the Cure have never sounded better, or given a more mesmerizing live performance. Truly staggering, and well worth the eight hour wait in the heat and two hour venue wait.