November 22, 2011
The Pantages TheatreClick here to see more photos from the show
Forty-five songs, three classic albums spanning three-plus hours constituted one unforgettable night with the Cure
. If you don't have tickets to the show tonight, you may wanna scalp some or book your flight now to see them in New York at the Beacon Theatre on November 25, 26 and 27.
Dubbed the "Reflections" tour, The Cure revisited their first three albums Three Imaginary Boys, Seventeen Seconds and Faith by
playing them in their entirety with five minute breaks in between them
to allow the audience to catch their collective breath.
the stage as a trio, The Cure peeled off the subtle guitar harmonics
for "10:15 Saturday Night" and immediately the whole floor of Cure
devotees were on their feet, absorbing every note and lyric from their
debut album Three Imaginary Boys. Released in 1979, the album
featured Robert Smith's angular guitar stabs intermeshed with melodic
bass leads and vivid lyrics that would continue to flourish over the
years transforming into the distinctive Cure trademark sound.
his usual Schecter custom guitar, Smith opted for the era appropriate
guitar in the form of a Fender Jazzmaster for the reverb staccato notes
of "Grinding Halt." Smith's voice was flawless throughout the evening
and giving the songs like "Object" a greater sense of urgency. Jason
Cooper's drumming was rock solid throughout the evening nailing the
steady beat of "Fire In Cairo."
sounded pristine as the overall volume was perfect, letting the
crystalline guitar chords of "Three Imaginary Boys" ruminate straight to
your brain. Smith had warned the audience that he messes up on "The
Weedy Burton" but the woozy instrumental went off without a hitch.
Adding keyboardist extraordinaire Roger O'Donnell, the foursome tackled the sparse arrangements of Seventeen Seconds
kicking things off with the piano driven instrumental "A Reflection."
The crowd would go crazy again upon hearing the opening notes of "Play
For Today" as O'Donnell's keyboards blended well with Gallup's echoing
Raking his guitar strings for a
whirlwind of noise, Smith's guitars gave way to Gallup's distinctive
bass line for "The Forest" as the stage lights pulsed with green
flashes. The whole evening continued to be surreal as they closed out
the album with its title track.
Laurence Tolhurst would join the other four members of the band for their recreation of the album Faith.
Adding band members to each album was symbolic in nature as it denoted
the growth of the band and how they added more layers to their overall
sound. "Primary" sounded like a jet engine taking off as various
flangers and phasers swirled amongst the guitars and bass.
Funeral Party" slowly swayed with a combination of music and lyrics
that haunted the audience. Smith switched over to a baritone Fender
Jaguar for the airy and sparse tones of "Faith."
Barely taking a few minutes rest before the first of three encores, the
band soldiered on, re-visiting B-sides "World War" and "I'm Cold," which Smith said he felt they were equally as good as the
Middle Eastern sounding guitars
signaled "Killing An Arab" followed by "Jumping Someone Else's Train,"
which makes me want to quit playing guitar and pick up a bass to hammer
out the venerable bass line. The second encore featured the sludgy
instrumental "Descent" and "Splintered In Her Head" which found Smith
showing off his harmonica skills.
still jumping up and down while playing "Charlotte Sometimes" and Smith
was all smiles, leading me to believe The Cure could have continued to
play for another three hours. The final encore of "Let's Go To Bed,"
"The Walk" and "The Lovecats" capped the magnificent evening and let the
audience give the band a standing ovation for one of the best concerts
of the year.