Featured photo credit: Bryan Yalta. If sharing/using photos, PLEASE credit Bryan Yalta.
The Cure’s fifth stop of their 2016 North American tour graced Dallas with many hits and classics of the band’s massive repertoire. May 15th at the American Airlines Center illustrated how The Cure remains relevant 40 years after the band’s inception.
Bonus Fun Stuff:Lily and Madeleine Rock a Tuesday Night in Dallas.
It just felt right to have The Cure perform on a cloudy Sunday. There’s nothing more soothing than having lead singer Robert Smith indirectly sing to you, “However far away/I will always love you,” making you, in turn, contemplate whether you love the band or your partner more — not an easy decision for a fan.
Many made the right choice by taking their significant other to the AAC to share in the cathartic experience. Attendance was heavily crowded for a concert on a Sunday night, but, of course, rock icons tend to generate an audience this big any day, any town. Many were expressing their inner goth soul with their somber appearances, which goes to show how much of an impact the Cure has made not only in music but in fashion.
Their three-hour set started off with “Plainsong,” the opener to their 1989 album Disintegration, from which came the majority of the evening’s setlist. For a while it seemed like they were going to play the album in its entirety, because the two songs that followed were in the right order of the track list from Disintegration: “Pictures of You” and “Closedown.” It must be mentioned that “Closedown” is a song that hasn’t been performed since 2004, meaning it was definitely a special treat for fans to see this live 12 years after their last rendition.
Reeves Gabrels, the guitarist the band recruited after the departure of original band member Pearl Thompson in 2012, played riff after riff with such impeccable virtuosity, rarely deviating from The Cure’s distinct sound. Going through their catalog with songs like “A Night Like This,” “The Walk,” and “Primary” really encapsulated the band’s shifts and turns — band members they’ve lost and gained, sounds they’ve adapted and changed. The songs continue to paint the essence of the dreamy world The Cure has created for everyone to enjoy.
There was a point in the middle of the concert where everyone sang loudly to one of the Cure’s classics: “Just Like Heaven.” Whether you were up in the back seats or down by the amplifiers, there was no doubt the collective resonance of the audience gave most people shivers down their spines. Being one of the Cure’s most known songs, singing to this was like joining angels in their celebratory chorus. It really felt just like heaven.
The band roared through their set all night long, playing song after song hardly stopping to acknowledge the crowd. One could tell, however, they were enjoying themselves: Smith dancing fervently during the song “Lullaby” or keyboardist Roger O’Donnell feeling the sensation of each key he touched during “Lovesong.” Simon Gallup, long-time band member, constantly enlivened the audience by jumping left and right throughout the stage while he delivered the recognizable bass lines that make up the sound substructure of Cure. It’s things like this that make you think how a 40-year-old band can have more spirit than some contemporary bands in the music industry.
It’s hard to even comprehend just how difficult it is to give an audience four encores after playing their main set of songs — not many bands do this, either because of exhaustion or merely because they don’t have enough songs or hits. There comes a point in the careers of many legendary bands where they have to pick and choose because of their time limit, which is what happened with The Cure on Sunday. They have too many good songs and not enough hours to play them all.
— The Cure México (@TheCureMexico) May 17, 2016
[tcb-script async=”” src=”//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″][/tcb-script]
What’s funny is that they’re still putting out new songs. In their third encore, they performed a new song apparently being called “Step Into the Light,” which was debuted on their first North American tour date in New Orleans. This was the fifth time they’ve played this unreleased song, which begs the question: Is a new Cure album in the works? No one knows. But what can be said about The Cure is that they are not showing any sign of taking a break at the moment — as exemplified by their long performance.
Each band member seems invigorated enough to keep the spirit of The Cure alive, especially Robert Smith. The man’s voice does not change! He powered through the grand finale with “Boys Don’t Cry.” What better way to finish the set — and to finish the weekend off — than with a classic that takes listeners back to the group’s beginnings. Within the band’s existence, they have managed to create songs that will maybe last one hundred years — maybe more. This concert showcased the strength of song and how, if made right, music can bring people together. “It feels like one hundred years.”