Sydney Opera House
The last of five nights performing the Disintegration album + assorted non-album tracks from that era as part of Sydney’s Vivid festival. The Cure are a band I’ve always liked a lot, but never gotten deeply into, although sitting next to a fairly rabid fan at work for the past couple of years has at least started to remedy that.
Demand was high for these gigs, so much so they had to run a ballot for the chance to buy tickets, and this fifth night was added due to the first four selling out quicker than you can say “pass the lipstick Robert”.
Kicking of with Delirious Nights we were treated to a batch of b-sides and demos, setting the scene for the dark and brooding Disintegration. The band, made up of Smith, Gallup, long time members Roger O’Donnell and Jason Cooper and relative newcomer Reeves Gabrels, were tight, very tight, and what must have been intense rehearsals to recreate the album showed. Finishing with a superb Babble, the band left the stage for a few minutes as the wind chimes started for the beginning of the album. Live, the album sounded big. Gallup’s thundering bass and Cooper’s thudding bass drum sometimes threatening to drown everyone else, yes guitars, keys and vocals pierced through. As the album progresses the songs become more dense, and with a lesser may have slipped into turgid, yet by the time we get to the title track the gig is soaring, and as Smith screams “I never said I would stay to the end” the audience swells with a touch of rapture. Homesick begins the comedown, and by the end of Untitled, the audiences feet touch the floor.
The encore kicked of with Burn from the Scarecrow soundtrack (and boy did the goths whoop and holla when it came on), delving slightly further into the back catalogue for Three Imaginary Boys, and slipping into Pogues territory with a cover of Wendy Walman’s Pirate Ships. The band left the stage and, despite the best efforts of the audience (one guy clapped for 10 minutes straight, made my arms tired just watching him), didn’t return and an elated audience left the House into the cold wintery chill.
Young and old. Old dressed as younger versions of themselves. Youngsters dressed to emulate the old. The odd hint of day-glo, but so much black that people needed to be careful crossing the road after.
It made me think..
The audience went wild as, during Lullaby, Smith stepped away from the mic with an odd lurching movement, possibly mimicking part of the original video for the song. He could have spent the entire gig facing the rear of the stage with a sign on his back saying ‘I hate you all”, and they would still love him.