The Cure at Wembley Arena
Gracing the stage amidst a thunderstorm soundscape and starry backdrop, The Cure perform the penultimate night of an extensive European tour, warming hearts on this cold December eve.
Playing Alone, off forthcoming album Songs of a Lost World – their first since 2008 – the group sound as fresh as in their heyday, with no sign of Robert Smith’s lost voice as rumoured; the singer also remains aesthetically unchanged from his signature crop of backcombed hair, white powdered face and red-smeared lips. He loves the crowd and they adore him, as we see the frontman receiving flowers from a fan.
Taking us back to 1989, the beloved Pictures of You produces an almost painful joy. There is a deep awareness of what makes a performance worthy, which the band understand well, presenting a setlist spanning decades in which there is something for everyone. The New Wave group increase the energy for Lovesong, while displayed in a hall of mirrors. None of the members can be faulted tonight, and all play like they are at their peak. Drummer Jason Cooper is a force to be reckoned with during Burn, while Smith and long-standing bassist Simon Gallup play their guitars back to back, sending fans screaming to their hearts’ content.
During Push, the atmosphere is electric, cameras angled towards the 12,500 capacity crowd, while green lights submerge the musicians for A Forest, fans clapping in synchronised fashion, a beautiful silhouetted scene. Keeping the red and green colour scheme, From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea is another stirring gem; The Cure are absolute aficionados when it comes to deeply felt lyrics driven by catchy, timeless melodies. Their new material is just as appealing as anything the band has released over the decades, and Endsong is no different, Gallup holding his bass unmoving upright, while Cooper thrums out a great drum beat.
Bestowing us with not one but two encores, The Cure perform another new single, I Can Never Say Goodbye, a dedication to Smith’s late brother. This plaintive tune carries well into Plainsong and Prayers for Rain, the former backed by their signature chimes. Surprise highlight Disintegration ends the first encore, echoing its unmistakable smash of glass and heart–in–throat lyrics.
There are an innumerable number of exhilarating parts in the impressive 28-song set, which of course includes classics such as the highly seductive Lullaby, pop brilliance Close to Me and Just Like Heaven, with its jangly guitars, while Boys Don’t Cry bookends the concert, male fans clearly moved by the truth in the track.
The Cure remain iconic, and after 44 years in the music scene, are still worthy stalwarts selling out arenas.
Photos: Nick Bennett
For further information and future events visit The Cure’s website here.
Watch the video for the single Just Like Heaven here: