The Cure Concert Review (6/5/16 in Denver, CO)

June 6, 2016
I love people watching. Who doesn't? As I was waiting to meet some friends before The Cure concert at Fiddler's Green last night (Sunday, June 5), I couldn't help but notice a wide cast of characters entering the amphitheater. There was the Robert Smith lookalike. The Kurt Cobain lookalike. The goth couple with their faces painted white. The teenager wearing an "I Hate Goth" t-shirt. However, the overall theme of the crowd was the younger alt/goth crowd versus the 45-59 year-old Cure fans that now have two kids and a mortgage. Across town, Red Rocks was hosting Barenaked Ladies, OMD and Howard Jones, so wherever you were in Denver on Sunday you got to hear a hell of a lot of great music.

The Twilight Sad opened up the show with (thankfully) a short set of somber tunes leaving plenty of time for The Cure to do their thing. After Robert Smith and company quietly walked on stage around 8pm (and stood silently for 60 seconds doing nothing), they finally launched into set-opener, "Out Of This World" – the leadoff track from 2000's Bloodflowers CD.

If you were a very casual Cure fan, you could have left the gig after 45 minutes given all the hits they opened their set with. Disintegration fans were treated to the one-two punch of "Pictures Of You" and "Closedown" before the band performed "High" off Wish and "Lovesong". The entire crowd was brought to their feet during "Just Like Heaven", dancing like it was 1987 – several years before those two kids and mortgage came along.

The rest of the evening was largely devoted to darker album tracks. It was all about the mood and atmosphere. I own maybe seven Cure studio albums (and several CD singles – remember those?) but I'm not going to pretend to know every tune in the Cure catalog. My friend Arbon was more than willing to identify songs such as "Bloodflowers", "Want" and "A Forest" (his favorite track of the evening and "I can die now" moment of the show).

The stage production was simple but effective. Lots of strobe lights and five huge light towers behind drummer Jason Cooper. Props to Cooper and the most energetic member of the band bassist Simon Gallup who formed a solid rhythm section all night long. Robert Smith's voice was in fine form and impressively strong throughout the 3-hour marathon set. The huge video screens flanking the stage weren't of much use, because the video camera on a tripod only featured one generic fisheye shot of the band, no close ups of the 57-year-old Smith.

"We're gonna play something that the dinosaurs used to whistle," said Smith before launching into "At Night" off 1980's Seventeen Seconds album. A female fan behind me couldn't understand Smith's thick British accent and yelled "What? Speak English!" Personal highlights of the set included "Burn" off The Crow movie soundtrack and the psychedelic "Fascination Street". At press time (I've always wanted to write that), The Cure were wrapping up their third encore with no sign of stopping.

Out Of This World
Pictures Of You
Just Like Heaven
The Last Day of Summer
A Strange Day
A Night Like This
In Between Days
Fascination Street
The Hungry Ghost

It Can Never Be The Same
Shake Dog Shake

At Night
Play For Today
A Forest

Hot Hot Hot!!!
The Caterpillar
The Walk
Let's Go To Bed

Close To Me
Why Can't I Be You
Boys Don't Cry

VARIOUS CONCERT T-SHIRTS SPOTTED IN THE CROWD: Violent Femmes, Danzig, The Adicts, R.E.M., Bauhaus, Skinny Puppy, Beck, The Ramones, Def Leppard (?), Bob Marley, Joy Division, etc…

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