Last Night: The Cure at the Shrine Auditorium June 1st, 2008
Better Than: Trying to find parking at the Hollywood Bowl.
Download: "The End Of The World" from The Cure Homepage.
After selling out the Hollywood Bowl, The Cure added another stop to their itinerary as they played the Shrine Auditorium. I would venture to say a good majority of the audience was in attendance at the Hollywood Bowl the previous night as well.
Sixty five days of Static stated the obvious when they announced to the audience that they weren't The Cure. I did appreciate their hybrid post apocalyptic instrumentals. They layered waves of atmospheric synthesizers with an underpinning of detuned guitars that ultimately crashed in a whitewash of noise. Some sonic reference points would include Battles, Sigur Ros and Explosions In The Sky.
I suddenly feel cheated by attending other concerts that last only an hour and a half as The Cure often play three hour sets. This is highly admirable for a band that has been around for almost thirty-two years. "Pictures of You" ignited the crowd as Simon Gallup's distinctive bass line echoed through the Shrine. Porl Thompson used his signature Schecter guitar to add glimmering coats of noise and feedback. The couples in the audience collectively held each other tight during a crowd pleasing version of "Lovesong". Robert Smith’s voice is still distinctive as ever and was in top form on this particular night.
The Cure also unfurled a batch of new songs that reflect their trimmed rock format line up as "Sleep When I'm Dead" and "The Only One" fit snuggly into the vast Cure catalog. "From The Edge of The Deep Green Sea" is one of my favorite Cure tunes as was performed under a wash of green lights as the crowd obeyed Robert Smith when he sang "Put Your Hands To the Sky". A crawling spider was projected on the LCD screens as the burrowing bass line of "Lullaby" resonated in your chest. The amount of cameras and cell phones in the air during "Just Like Heaven" added another dimension to the impressive laser and light show. "One Hundred Years" pleased the older fans with its weighty mood and urgent vocals as it provided a "Death Blow" to the audience. The older hits capped the multiple encore set with such hits as "Fire In Cairo", "Boys Don't Cry","10:15 Saturday Night", "Jumping Someone Else's Train" and "Killing An Arab". I will admit I have a ticket for their show in San Diego on Tuesday because The Cure often switch up their sets every night.
Personal Bias: My life was changed when I saw The Cure at the Rose Bowl in 1992.
Random Detail: It was Simon Gallup's 48th birthday.
By The Way: The Cure's former keyboardist Roger O'Donnell released a solo album composed primarily on a MiniMoog Voyager.