Saturday, June 25, 2016
The Cure at Lake Wood 6/24/16
Last Night it was my wife's first time seeing the Cure and my 5th. They played a shed called Lakewood Ampitheater in Atlanta. Remind me to never go see an out side concert in Atlanta again during July or August. Since the Cure is one of my favorite bands, when I say favorite bands I don't mean some one I'm really into at the moment, I mean I have been listening to them for 26 years, so we have a life time relationship, built on their music providing a sound track to my life. So it takes some one of their magnitude to drag me out to one of these things. I'm not a fan of big shows, used to enjoy them more, but my growing disdain for other humans is brought out when attending one almost to the point of being a distraction. We got to the venue shortly after doors were opened. Were sitting in reserved seats on the floor, where we waited for the Twilight Sad. I reviewed their album yesterday, if you want to known more about this Scottish band you can read about them
I'll say this about them...the singers voice was strong, he was very energetic and into it, though my wife said he couldn't be any gayer, I think they began to win the crowd over by the time they left the stage, so good job guys, you are solid in my book. So we ran into the one friend I saw the whole night at the bathrooms. I saw Facebook posts, about people going to the show and afterwards, but saw no one else there I knew. Which is weird for me. So the Cure went on by 8: 10 so it was light outside for the first hour of their set. The wandered on stage, Robert Smith came to the edge of the stage and stared. Aside from Smith the band was Gallop on bass, Jason Cooper on Drums , Roger O'Donnell from the Psychedlic Furs and Reeves Gabrels from David Bowie's band on lead guitar, who I did not recognize, He looked more like a bearded Bernie Sanders, so I assumed it was Porl Thompson. I have seen Gabrels several times with Bowie, so it really surprised me when I found this out after the fact. They opened with "Plain Song" which seemed off energetically. Gallop was playing notes that sounded like they should have been played on guitar so I am not sure what was backing tracks or not.
Things started to improve with each song Reeves didn't really seem to be into on "Pictures of You" and only appeared to be doing a bare minimum. Granted many of his parts were textural, when he ripped into a solo I was surprised as I thought "Wow, I never knew Porl could shred like that". Of course it makes sense now. Cooper's drumming began to impress me once they got to "Closedown". He has been with them ever since "Wild Mood Swings" so he has been on the kit every time I have seen the band, so aside from not being high and just mesmerized by Robert Smith, I suppose I was able to take the entire band in more objectivly. It did take use at least getting the song "High" for things to begin soaring to life. Here I noticed Smith was singing some of the songs in a lower key, as I couldn't sing along with them like I was singing along to the album. I've seen them play " A Night Like This Before'", but it's a great song, one of their more up beat songs that doesn't get under my skin. "Push" moved their performance up another notch and is where connection wise with the crowd things took a turn. At this point Robert had also commented how it was fucking hot, so for the rest of the show in an almost Spinal Tap like manner fans were set up around the drum risers.
It was a older crowd than I expected going into this, they were still fairly engaged when not on their phones for "In-Between Days" . "Last Dance" had a little more of a rock drive to it, which was fine by me is of the darker side that I prefer when it comes to the Cure. Of the post- 90's Cure songs "the End of the World" was pretty well recieved which was surpringing given the general age of the crowd, who obviously connected the most with songs that came later like "Just Like Heaven". Speaking of the hits "Love Song " was played a little more up tempo than the radio version. The moments I found the most engaging were when they seemed to jam out a little more. "Jupiter Crash" from "Wild Mood Swings" created a little bit of a lull and I would have sacraficed to have heard something off of "Pornography", "Want" from the same album proved to be a better choice. I am unsure if I had ever heard them play "From the Edge of a Deep Green Sea" it's live when I realize how much I really like "Wish". The musicianship from every member of the band was high lighted on this song.
"The Hungry Ghost" from the " 4 : 13" album is another one that I could have lived without, though the more modern era of the band I could stand to re-visit as there was some good stuff buried in there. The main set ended with "Prayers From Rain " and "Disintegration" both of which proved to be very powerful songs. The first encore brought the disco like shimmy of "Shake Dog Shake" which I heaven't heard them play before, but "the Top" is not my favorite album by them as I am not a fan of Andy Anderson's drumming, once again it gave Cooper a chance to put his own touch to the song. "Burn" is one of my favorite Cure songs, while it was good to hear them play it live it didn't have the punch I thought it should, but this was followed by "A Forest" , "Lullaby" and "Fascination Street". All three sounded great with "Fascination Street" almost bringing out the old goth dances from me. If our row wasn't crammed full with jack assess and I had more room it would have happened, as the heat generally had me miserable, so I focused on the music.
"Wrong Number" is a silly b-side, I had never heard them play. Not their best song by any means. The encores kept coming. The mutant funk of "the Walk" went over well. "Doing the Unstuck" began the procession of their more upbeat pop songs. The big one being "Friday I'm In Love" which in mind is tedious as it's the one song people bring up when it comes to the Cure, so it's like their "Iron man " or "Tom Sawyer" a song that defines them in the minds of some though it is not a clear indication was what they really sounds like. I was ok with "the Perfect Girl" and stayed around for it, though I told my wife if they play "Love Cats" or "Close to Me" then it's all over and they are not playing anything from "Pornography" so I would be ready to go. We left midway into "Hot, Hot, Hot" which I took as the signal there was no more of the gothy Cure to come, which was a good call on my part as we heard "Close to Me " on the way to the car and they ended with "Boys Don't Cry". I have no problem with the Cures silly pop song's since the bulk of their work is more melancholy and sonic, I just don't put the bulk of their radio fodder on my iPod. While I was glad we avoided "Love Cat's I wish they would have played at least one song from "Pornography">