Thursday, 20 March 2008
Tonight we travelled down to Wembley Arena for a concert by Robert Smith and The Cure.
Wow, these guys are so good, even after all these years. The wall of sound is incredible, filling the vast space of the arena and churning pleasurable parts of your body.
The audience was a good mix of all ages and types, from the ubiquitous Smith look-alikes, through ageing goths (Hi!) and emo's, to fresh-faced young people probably not even born when The Cure was formed. We were standing up near the front, but not in the thick of the melee. One guy who had been sent to get the beers in, gave up on ever fighting his way back to the middle of the crush, so he gave his beers away for free to us, then texted his friends what he had done. Cheers!
Robert looked rather chubby (well, so do I nowadays!) but had the stamina to keep going for three hours, though his voice was getting a bit ropey towards the end - but who could blame him? He was belting the songs out with enthusiasm, not just going through the motions. He was obviously enjoying himself immensely, and so was the packed crowd (when I phoned my Mum and told her who I'd been to see, she asked if there were many people there. Oh, about ten thousand I said. 'He's popular then is he? I've never heard of him'. Yeah Mum, he is). Robert engaged with the audience in his usual mumbling way, and ended each song with a n'kyou n'kyou.
If you were expecting all his greatest hits then you weren't disappointed. The Cure's back catalogue was mined for ghems all the way to Three Imaginary Boys, and they even gave a spirited rendering of 'Love Cats', much to the delight of the crowd. The highlight for me though, as it often is at Cure concerts, was an awesome production of A Forest. In fact, I think it was the best Forest I've ever heard them do (except perhaps for the last time I saw them at Wembley Arena on the Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me tour - maybe there is something about the acoustics that lends itself to the swhirling hypnotic dirge sound?).
Here I believe is the playlist (pinched from this blog and I can't disagree with it):
Plainsong, Prayers For Rain, A Strange Day, alt.end, A Night Like This, The End of the World, Lovesong, To Wish Impossible Things, Pictures of You, Lullaby, From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea, Hot Hot Hot!!!, The Only One (Please Project), The Walk, Push, Friday I'm In Love, Inbetween Days, Just Like Heaven, Primary, A Boy I Never Knew, Shake Dog Shake, Never Enough, Wrong Number, One Hundred Years, Disintegration
1st encore: At Night, M, Play For Today, A Forest.
2nd encore: The Lovecats, Let's Go To Bed, Freak Show, Close To Me, Why Can't I Be You
3rd encore: Three Imaginary Boys (with a little bit of Foxy Lady at the beginning), Fire In Cairo, Boys Don't Cry, Jumping Someone Else's Train, Grinding Halt, 10:15 Saturday Night, Killing An Arab.
A very enjoyable evening; one of the best concerts I've been to for a long time.