For decades, lead singer Robert Smith has vehemently denied that The Cure is a goth band, but that didn’t stop a crowd of fans dressed head to toe in black, some donning white face makeup, heavy black eyeliner and fishnet tights, from selling out the Dos Eqius Pavilion on Saturday night for the band’s third stop on their Songs of a Lost World tour. Smith and company brought with them the best of the best of The Cure’s catalog for an almost three-hour set that sounded as crisp as any of the 12 albums they pulled from, with Smith’s vocals just as smooth and seamless as they were 40 years ago.
The 29-song set included the big crowd-pleasers everyone remembers, such as “Friday I’m In Love," “In Between Days” and “Pictures of You.” But what really stood out were the deeper cuts, like some surprise gems including “Six Different Ways,” off the 1985 album The Head on the Door, and “A Thousand Hours,” from the 1987 album Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, neither of which the band had played live since 1987 until this tour kicked off May 11.
with no release date as of yet). A bold move, but fans reacted cheerfully despite likely not knowing any of the words. The song starts out ironically with the lyric “This is the end of every song we sing,” and everyone from teenage goths to middle-aged fans in khaki shorts suddenly forgot about the sweltering heat as they pounded their fists and feet to the beat.
This led to the first major crowd reaction with “Pictures of You,” and later, the dreamy ballad “Lovesong,” both from the band’s 1989 magnum opus Disintegration. This is when Smith first spoke directly to the crowd with a simple greeting and introduced another new song, “Nothing Is Forever,” which led to a dip in crowd enthusiasm as many sat back down or continued earlier conversations with friends.
Although it was impossible to notice, Smith admitted to a bit of a struggle: “These songs are getting harder and harder to sing,” he joked after the fifth song of the night. The truth is, the live concert felt a lot like an album listening party with near-flawless instrumentation and the 64-year-old Smith still sounding like a 20-something-year-old, prancing around the stage. Simon Gallup, a longtime member second only to Smith himself, garnered applause for his bass licks throughout the show, especially on “A Forest.” And Jason Cooper, drummer for The Cure since 1995, was featured throughout the set and gave an incredible performance.
Two more rarities then followed: “Shake Dog Shake,” the only song played from the 1984 album The Top, and “From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea,” from the 1992 album Wish.
Even though they might not be a goth band, The Cure’s entire ethos and musical output does easily resonate with outsiders like the goths, or the nerds or the hopeless romantics. They provide a sense of escape for an alternative crowd of music lovers. Smith’s unconventional look, with his wild hair and red lipstick and his lyrics exploring things like what it is to be a sensitive boy who does, in fact, cry, is inclusive. And, on a night like this, it all made them incredibly relatable and, without a doubt, incredibly lovable.