Live Review: The Cure – Adelaide Entertainment Centre (29.07.16)

Having seen The Cure at Splendour in the Grass six nights previous to their Adelaide show, I had a pretty good idea of what kind of show I was walking into when I got into the venue on Friday night. With three hours allocated to their beloved catalogue of music and no support act, these headline shows of The Cure’s world tour were something to be remembered and the band went to good lengths in ensuring that they would be.

Prior to their festival show in Byron Bay, I’d never seen The Cure before but, like many other fans born at the tail end of the 80’s and in the early 90’s, their music has always been present in our upbringing in some way. I remember being fascinated with the film clip for “The Lovecats” when I was younger, Disintegration being a favourite cassette tape and when I was a little older, falling in love with the band all over again after hearing “Burn” by way of The Crow.

Tickets for the Adelaide show had been cut down in price in the weeks leading up to the gig which didn’t exactly fill me with confidence that this was going to be a well-attended show, but the arena filled out quite comfortably by the time The Cure’s 8pm set time rolled by.

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They took to the stage and opened with “Open” from 1992’s Wish record and, just like I was the previous weekend, I was struck by how pure Robert Smith‘s vocals still sounded as that unmistakeable accent filtered out over the crowd, now wildly cheering. Although either in their fifties or nearing the sixty mark, the band are still as energetic as ever; drummer Jason Cooper is incredible to watch, from my seat off to the side of the arena, I had an excellent view of him as he wrangled those drumbeats driving “From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea” and of course, “Burn”, which is probably my favourite Cure song. The stamina the man has behind the kit is exhaustingly impressive.

Bass player Simon Gallup took advantage of not being constrained to one spot by any leads, thumping out those iconic bass lines up and down the stage with energy that definitely stood out on its own. The sound in the Entertainment Centre arena was actually mixed really well from where I was sat as well; the vocals were crisp and the music travelled out well and hit the crowd perfectly, not painfully loud and without difficulty.

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To pick set highlights from a show like this is near on impossible – The Cure, with their 34-song long set, reached out to the hardcore fans and any casual listener mainly familiar with the hits. “Lullaby”, “Just Like Heaven” and “Lovesong” stood out for me though (aside from “Burn”), while it was wonderful to finally hear “The Lovecats” performed live, as the band excluded it from their Splendour set.

“Friday I’m In Love” was aptly performed to a wild response, while the final encore (arguably the most pop) saw a rapid four-punch round, with “Hot Hot Hot!!!”, “Let’s Go To Bed”, “Why Can’t I Be You?” and “Boys Don’t Cry” coming in to round out what was a show already put safely in the bag about 15 songs earlier. What the extensive set displayed was The Cure’s ability to weave in and out of some heavier alt-rock, through to pop, grinding post-punk licks and back again over the years. Even their new song, “It Can Never Be The Same”, was an impressive number rolled out within the nostalgia trip – it fit perfectly.

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We were treated to Robert Smith’s dance moves as he ambled from side to side, corners of his smeared lipstick lips turning upward into a smile as he walked to the edge and corners of the stage to acknowledge the fans cheering and waving. He mentioned the fact that there wasn’t much banter during the night, but mainly because he’s apparently not good at jokes or coming up with anything to quip – even though this was his fourth show in a matter of days by this point, Smith remained an engaging and charming performer. After all, this is the man we were all enthusiastically gathered to see.

At the end of the show, Smith remained on stage a few minutes longer than his bandmates, walking to each end of the stage, looking up into the higher levels of arena seating, waving and thanking everyone. Considering it’s been a decent while since The Cure have toured Australia, I didn’t take this opportunity for granted and looking at how the band have approached this tour, it’s obvious they hadn’t either.

 

THE CURE SET LIST – ADELAIDE

  1. Open
  2. Kyoto Song
  3. A Night Like This
  4. Push
  5. In Between Days
  6. Primary
  7. Last Dance
  8. Pictures of You
  9. Closedown
  10. High
  11. Lovesong
  12. Friday I’m In Love
  13. Just Like Heaven
  14. From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea
  15. Want
  16. The Hungry Ghost
  17. One Hundred Years
  18. End

ENCORE #1

  1. It Can Never Be the Same
  2. Shake Dog Shake
  3. Burn
  4. A Forest

ENCORE #2

  1. Lullaby
  2. Fascination Street
  3. Never Enough
  4. Wrong Number

ENCORE #3

  1. The Lovecats
  2. The Caterpillar
  3. The Walk
  4. Close to Me

ENCORE #4

  1. Hot Hot Hot!!!
  2. Let’s Go To Bed
  3. Why Can’t I Be You?
  4. Boys Don’t Cry

Images by Kerrie Geier.