LIVE: THE CURE, Perth – 31 July, 2016
Perth Arena – Sunday, 31 July, 2016
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
Photography by Maree King
Goth rock pioneers The Cure brought an exhaustive and celebrative history lesson to Perth with a set that was a whisker shy of three hours long, and covered just about every base that even the most ardent fan could have hoped for.
Lead singer, founder, and sole mainstay of the band Robert Smith may have retired the smeared lipstick as he approaches 60, but his hair still defies gravity and he charismatically led the show throughout, singing and playing a variety of guitars, even if he wasn’t much for banter.
Delivering a set that started with favourites Plainsong and Pictures Of You, and ran through every era of the band’s near-40-year career, the proliferation of non-greatest hits might have tried the patience of some casual fans, had Smith not been so captivating, and the set not been so peppered with easily recognisable favourites.
Bassist Simon Gallup – a member on and off since 1979 – lurched around the stage like a hunched-over Joe Strummer-alike, providing a flash of colour out front of the monochrome, minimalist stage set, reminiscent of an ‘80s live-in-the-studio video set. The rest of the band – Roger O’Donnell, keyboard player on and off since 1987, drummer Jason Cooper and guitarist Reeves Gabrels, a veteran of several David Bowie projects, including his band Tin Machine, preferring to let the others take the spotlight, instead focussing on providing wondrously atmospheric soundscapes.
Through a ninety-minute main set highlights were many. Friday I’m In Love and Doing The Unstuck are irresistibly bouncy, belying their reputation as a broody goth band. Lullaby is hypnotic but provides a conflict of interest for us arachnophobes. Prayers For Rain is dark and broodingly captivating.
The four encores that followed contained many of the band’s bigger hits: A Forest, Fascination Street, Never Enough, the playful jazzpop of The Lovecats, mad highlight Close To Me and more, culminating in a four song final encore that was a mini-early greatest hits in itself: Hot Hot Hot!!!, Let’s Go to Bed, Why Can’t I Be You? and Boys Don’t Cry bringing some to tears, possibly even Smith himself, who looked obviously overwhelmed at the end of the show, and appeared to have an emotional moment as he left the stage.
So many people present have been touched by The Cure that the concert seems almost like a sermon to the faithful at the end of a pilgrimage. Pivotal to so many, their concert was a reaffirmation of that faith, with the love very obviously strong in both directions.
Pictures of You
A Night Like This
In Between Days
Friday I’m in Love
Doing the Unstuck
The End of the World
Just Like Heaven
From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea
Prayers for Rain
It Can Never Be the Same
Shake Dog Shake
Close to Me
Hot Hot Hot!!!
Let’s Go to Bed
Why Can’t I Be You?
Boys Don’t Cry
Some other stuff you might dig
About the Author: Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE