As promised, here's the full set from last week's Cure show here in Boston. Rather than a long-winded write-up, I'll just run through some personal highlights from the night...
The opening "Plainsong" chimes still get me, every time. I spent too much time with that album for it not to. When they started with it, I knew I'd love the show.
Porl Thompson is such a brilliant guitarist, and his return is so obviously the reason the band has transformed so well into a quartet. While there are still a few keyboard part backing tracks, his flawless (and in many cases, improved) replacement of the old synths has reinvigorated a number of songs, especially "Lullaby" (which I'd become entirely tired with years ago). And he does it all while rocking the plastic passion pants.
I think this show finally erased my lingering (and for the most part illogical) resentment of drummer Jason Cooper's presence in the band. I was such a massive fan of Boris Williams, thought his playing was essential to what the Cure had become, that I didn't give Jason as much of a chance as I should have. He's come a very long way since those first couple years on board, when all I was doing was unfairly comparing his live drumming to Boris' flawless performances. No longer, though. [drumgeek] That said, I could do without that extra snare hit in the progression of "From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea".[/drumgeek]
I continue to appreciate how much the band embraces its past, not just by playing multi-hour shows that cover their entire (almost 30-year) career, but through little touches like reworking a never-recorded 1985 song as a new single ("Sleep When I'm Dead"), and titling a new one "The Perfect Boy", which is of course a nod to 1987's "The Perfect Girl".
High points of the set: "A Night Like This" (Porl's solo!), "Pictures of You", "From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea", "The Blood", "Push", "Primary", "100 Years", the new "Sleep When I'm Dead", "Disintegration", "Play For Today", and the entire third encore. Low points? Well, I've never been a great fan of their ultra-pop side, so "Why Can't I Be You?", "Hot Hot Hot!!", "Wrong Number", and "Lovecats" sent my mind wandering a bit. I've also not listened to the band as much over the past 10 years or so, so "Signal to Noise", "alt.end", "The End of the World", and "Us or Them" left me cold. But the high points far, far outweighed any lows.
Rather than my standard list of links, I'll just refer you to the best Cure resource out there: Chain of Flowers. Up-to-date info on the current tour and the band's upcoming release plans.
The new single, "The Only One", is streaming at P4K, and you can buy it at iTunes, along with the non-album extra track "NY Trip". Physical versions should be out within the next week or so (CD single and 7").
the fine print... If anyone has an issue with these Mp3s being made available, just let me know (my contact info in the 'nac faq). Live sets recorded with a Sony ECM-719 mic and a Sony MZ-RH10 minidisc, converted to .wav and then edited to 192kbps Mp3s. Files are made available for a limited time, and are not reposted once removed.