at Chain of Flowers
Okay, so this is my final review of The Cure for this tour. I have had an awesome amazing incredible time, not only because I saw my favorite band five times, but because I met some truly wonderful people. I won't go into detail about that now, but the people I have met know who they are, and hopefully they know they are fucking fabulous.
So I will start off on a very slightly negative note, but please understand that it's only because I have become a bit spoiled during my multi-show experience. I was seriously expecting a less standard set than what was delivered at MSG, but then, Fuse was taping, so I suppose I should have anticipated a rather generic set. I was hoping, at least, that during the encores they would toss in a few dark gems or other tasty surprises. I mean, they did play the lusciously ethereal If Only Tonight and the scorching The Kiss, after all, so I really shouldn't complain. And of course all the other songs sounded superb, even if I have heard some repeatedly.
But no matter. There are people who haven't attended any shows on this tour who are probably lobbing profanities at me for even hinting at mild disillusionment, so I'll just STFU right now. Just please understand that yes, there is a downside, however slight, to attending multiple shows, and that downside is that what you want and what the band delivers are sometimes two separate things. You want the band to cater the setlist to YOU, multi-show dork, whereas of course they don't give a flying flip about how far you have traveled or how much money you have spent. They are delivering for the thousands of other attendees who are attending one show. So again, I'll STFU.
Some highlights, musically speaking:
The brooding atmospheric Underneath the Stars gets better with every listen. I love the contrast of the deeply layered guitars and the soothing whispery vocals. Musically this song evokes the dreamy constellations like no other I have heard. The heavy, loudly ambient guitars truly elicit the gravity of the cosmic experience, and the lyrics match the music masterfully. Best Cure song ever? I report, you decide.
The Edge of the Deep Green Sea always tantalizes, with its infinite length and absolutely blistering guitar solo, courtesy of Patron Saint of Guitars, Porl. Hands in the sky forever is what I'm sayin'.
Baby Rag Dog Book - Holy motherfucking Christ! This was the best, most head-exploding version I have seen yet, and I've seen the song performed three times now. Simon's throbbing, chugging bass, Robert's "flying fingers" guitar parts, the faintly rockabilly strain and blatantly 70s rock vibe - wow! And Robert's vocals were clearer and keener than I had heard them on this song before. Hellz yes muthafuka! That song slaughtered me with its freak-ass intensity.
Push is always a treat live, no matter how many times I have heard it. It gets me pogo-ing like a mad moron and screaming "Go Go Go" like a damn fool. Best live Cure song EVER.
Shake Dog Shake - ya know, I love the freakin' Top, and wish they would play more from it (Empty World would make me all kinds of dizzy happy). But SDS is a searing wacky rocker and I love Robert's vocal embellishments on it.
The Walk - I have actually grown terribly tired of this song over the years, but The Cure have managed to inject new life into it via Porl's delicious mimicking of the key parts. I mean, I do miss the keys on some songs such as Plainsong and Charlotte Sometimes - sorry, but those songs BEG for keys, as masterful as they are in recent versions - but for songs like the Walk, the guitar is a fabulous substitute . Of course, no one could pull it off like Porl. OH! And props to Jason for his fabulous drumming on this song in particular, although on all songs he certainly owns. All the Jason naysayers can fuck themselves. He rocks.
IOTWCS - Um, yeah, this song plunges me into a dreamy reverie. Gorgeousness and gorgeosity rolled into one.
The Kiss - Definite centerpiece of the show. Sorry, but this song SLAYS live with Robert erotically attacking his guitar and making all kindsa dirty faces. I'll just leave it at that, mmmmkay? .
Freakshow - LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LURVE this song. I admit that I am not completely taken with The Only One, although it is nice live, but
Freakshow makes me all kindsa FREAKAY. Anyone who doesn't like it is a moron. Okay, not really, but come ON! It's like an intoxicating concoction of HOTD/The Top/KM/WMS stuff, and yet completely fresh. And Robert singing this song live is a pure joy to watch with his goofy-ass jazzy dances and incoherent babble. Robert, I am trying desperately to learn every word to this song to help you out when you forget the words, k? Indeed, you forgot a few last night and just substituted "yadda yadda." Very cute, though.
Close to Me - Is it me, or is this arrangement of Close to Me fucking awesome? Thought so. Very bouncy little number with Porl's nimble guitar parts providing an invigorating jolt.
Old School Encore never gets old. Period. And Killing an Arab - what the FUCK! It's like insane asylum intense. Brilliant version and it NEEDS to be formally recorded with this line-up. Cure, you done our boy Camus all kindsa proud!
Non-musical miscellaneous highlights:
I was able to get to third row, Simon side, from Prayers for Rain on. I found him a joy to watch, the way he bounces around in his skin-tight attire with a sexy scowl. But I was disconcerted by the writing on his arm - "home" - and also by the fact that he gazed very very longingly at the pictures of his children during Pictures of You. I find that very touching, of course, but it also a little upsetting because the poor guy is clearly yearning for his family. My sympathies go out to him, and I am glad he will be reunited with them soon.
Throughout the show, Robert made jokes about his infamous incoherent blathering. He insisted that he does speak clearly and made a point to
enunciate. I still understand about 1% of what he actually says ("Q" being the most endearing), but I liked that he acknowledged fan frustration with his unintelligible chatter. Indeed, it was fucking funny and he dropped the f-bomb quite a few times. I love his brashness and sinister sense of humor; at one point he said, "Of course, none of it matters in the end because it's all NONSENSE." Quite the existential/nihilistic insight, Roberto. I'm with ya all the way. (Oh, and apparently his guitar is sporting a "Born again existentialist sticker lately - very fucking cool.)
The pop encores are always a treat with Robert's flirtatious interactive playfulness. What a shimmering smile this man has and what magical eyes! And his stage presence during these songs is infectiously bouyant.
The absolute highlight was when Robert saw Christina's "COF Loves the Cure" sign and made a big goofy grin.
The equally awesome absolute highlight was when Christina and I were able to coax the security guard to let us stand up front at the railing so Chris could give him the roses she bough him. The security was fairly tight throughout the show, but in the end, the security guard relented because Chris
was so charmingly persistent. We hugged the security guard for his generosity, something I have NEVER done before. I told him we would love him forever for his efforts. WTF? Have a regressed so far that I have to profess love to a security guard? What has my world come to?
Anyway, after Freakshow, I believe, Chris gestured to Robert to come receive his roses, which he did, very graciously. After he took them, he smiled, and we both screamed like giddy fangirls. Robert seemed both pleased and overwhelmed by our um, frighteningly adolescent indulgences. I am pretty sure Fuse caught us on camera acting like we were hormonally intoxicated pre-teens, but whatever. Lusty Cure femmes unite!
The icing on this proverbially tasty cake was that Robert said, "I'll save this for later" rather seductively, and then placed the flowers onto one of the speakers in the center of the stage, for all to behold. I am very happy for Chris that Robert was so humbly and happily accepting of the flowers.
Also, Robert was able to see Chrstina's COF sign a few more times, which was quite gratifying to us. Craig, I have said it before, but you are the rockingest badass mofo EVER; your site is revered by Cure fans worldwide. Oh, and the COF sign apparently appeared on Fuse TV last night, something we find both exhilirating and hilarious. Can't wait to see the Fuse recording.
So, it was a titillating end to my five-show liason with the Cure. Sure, I wanted a more surprise-laden setlist, but whatever. It's the fucking Cure, and I am very lucky to have caught them live so many times. My bank account might be suffering, and physically I may be spent (just HOW do you do
it, Cure?), but whathefuckever.
I do wish I could attend the RCMH show tonight, but, alas, I cannot. However, I am compensating by attending a show by my other love, Tom Waits, so it's all good. I am sure the RCMH show will have the most thrilling Cure set EVER, loaded with Bloodflowers stuff and Faith stuff, and so on, although I really can't complain since I got the Faith encore in Charlotte. I can, however, complain that I only got one BF song among all the shows I attended. What the hell, Robert? BF is such a beautiful album, and I am DYING to hear more songs from it live. Oh well, maybe next time? PLEASE?
One last thing. A big FUCK YOU to the 9000 foot dude and his goofy groupies for practically ruining the show for me by talking THROUGHOUT. Go fuck yourself, you selfish, shallow piece of shit. I even told you to please stop talking TWICE, and you called me a bitch. Yeah, well you're a dickless piece of crap. But seriously, this dude and others like him - the people who come for TWO songs (namely FIIL and JLH) and then spend the rest of the time confabulating about their fabulous hair and how much sex they have every day - can kiss my voluptuous derriere. You all collectively SUCK and I hope there is a special place in Dante's hell for you, where you will be forced to listen to Barry Manilow songs full blast for an eternity. Or get
repeatedly jabbed in the ears with a pitchfork. Or perhaps medieval-style torture is what you deserve.
Sorry, but one should just STFU at a Cure concert and LISTEN AND WATCH. Isn't that what we pay precious money for? The Cure are the best live band ever, you morons!