It's not that I didn't like The Cure, I just wasn't in LOVE with them. In high school, if you had asked most of my friends who their favorite band was they would have listed them as number one. If you had asked me, they would have been fifth or most likely sixth on the list. I was much more enamored with The Smiths or New Order than I ever was with Robert Smith and his crew. Then I started dating someone who was a bit of a Cure fanatic. Even this didn't really sway me. He made me mix tapes, and copies of albums he thought I should have, and I listened to them all, and I did like them, I just...I dunno...something wasn't there for me. Even now, on the myriad of personal networking sites where I'm asked to tell the world what kind of music I like, I usually forget to list The Cure.
However, when I had the opportunity to see them live last Wednesday, I couldn't say no. I did like them, and I'd never seen them live. They've been around for so long, I figured it would probably be a pretty good show.
It started like most concerts typically do...the lights went low, a fog machine started up, and eventually the front man makes it to the stage. When Robert Smith finally appeared, mostly in silhouette, guitar slug over his shoulder, and surrounded in white fog, it reminded me exactly of the cover for the Boys Don't Cry single. Seeing an album cover come to life before my eyes was not something I was expecting and I had to catch my breath for a second.
They started out playing songs from Disintegration and then proceeded to go back and forth between older tunes and a few new ones. Not only was I surprised by how many of the songs I knew, I was flooded with memories of the aforementioned high school boyfriend. We dated for about 2 years and most of that time was spent wandering up and down Haight Street, traveling back and forth on highway 280 between San Francisco and Sunnyvale, and driving through the fog on Highway One to hang out with a friend in Pacifica. I had forgotten that The Cure was the soundtrack for a good chunk of that time.
I spent most of the show grinning like a dork, singing along, and wanting to weep a little bit at the same time. I really do like the Cure a lot. In fact, I might even love them. It's just taken me 20 years to finally realize it.
In case you're wondering, Robert Smith looks exactly the same as he used to. Big hair, make-up, baggy shirt, baggy pants, and big shoes. The guitarist, though. Oh man. He was wearing red sparkly four inch heels. He played the whole show wearing them, jumped around a little, and didn't trip over his guitar cord once. If that doesn't impress you, maybe the fact that they did THREE encores will. At least I think it was three. It may have been four. I sort of lost track because this is when they started playing all the classics (Boy's Don't Cry, Jumping Someone Else's Train, 10:15 on a Saturday Night, Killing an Arab) and I was too anxious for the next song to pay attention to how many times they went off and on stage.
In short, it was an awesome show. I'm feeling a little bit of regret for taking this long to finally see them live, but am glad that I finally did. And, now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to go update the music section of all my personal networking profiles to include "The Cure".