Started by dsanchez, March 11, 2023, 20:36:02
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QuoteThe Cure's first Tampa concert since 2008 brought fans to a raw reckoning with some of life's most intense emotions, from the depths of fresh grief and existential dread to the fizzy highs of young love.Perhaps the most gutting — and sonically stunning — of the whole set Thursday night: a slate of new material from The Cure's yet-to-be-released fourteenth album, "Songs of a Lost World."The Cure played 27 songs total — the shortest set out of their entire tour, though fans couldn't have felt cheated. The first portion was 14 songs, alternating between unreleased tracks, crowd pleasers like "Lovesong" and deeper cuts.Each night, The Cure has shuffled its setlist a bit. During this penultimate stop on their 30-date North American tour, all the changes must have caught up with them. The band launched into it's uptempo "Burn" instead of the intended, much moodier new track, "And Nothing is Forever.""It's like the remix version," Smith joked before starting over.At 64, Smith's voice has held up remarkably well. When he needed to reach for any note, he got there. Bassist Simon Gallup shined the whole night, but especially during "A Forest," which he closed alone, strumming that eerie beat faster and faster under a blistering red spotlight.
QuoteWhile having a headlining act take the stage not long after 8 p.m. is a rarity, it's not for this group; in preparation of the enormous setlist it unveiled, the band, led by its only constant member since its formation—lead singer, guitarist, and songwriter Robert Smith—appeared at this early hour to ensure it would have time to run through its program (which covered many eras of the band's lifespan).Benefitting from an exquisite sound mix that clearly and crisply showcased Smith's still-strong, trademark fractured voice and vocal quips, it was early in the night's gargantuan set list that the band scored its first knockout punch with its adoring audience. Only two songs in, the group unveiled a note-perfect rendition of its dreamy, melancholy ballad "Pictures of You" from its 1989 masterpiece, landmark album Disintegration. As a flood of lights rose and swelled, and images from the song's original single cover were beamed on the large projection screen behind the band, Smith's hypnotic guitarwork coupled with Gallup's solid, booming bass lines magically filled the venue for one of many highlight moments that would occur throughout the night and reminded everyone just what makes this outfit stand out from all its contemporaries who rose to prominence alongside The Cure many years ago.The Cure has been, and remains, a highly influential, relevant, and vital part of the musical landscape for so many of us, and this absolutely stellar performance more than solidified that. Whether a first-time attendee of a Cure show, or someone who's seen them multiple times throughout the band's tenure, this performance served the purpose of solidifying The Cure's well-deserved place at the top of the heap of post-punk, new wave, or alternative royalty.