The Cure "40 Live Curaetion 25 + Anniversary" Deluxe Box Set

Started by dsanchez, August 05, 2019, 22:15:17

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SueC

Thanks for clarifying that!  :)  We feel like we're on an archaeological dig.  ;)  So is the film for Show no longer commercially available?
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Ulrich

Quote from: SueC on December 29, 2019, 02:46:57So is the film for Show no longer commercially available?

No, so far it has not been re-released on dvd (or bluray).
With luck you can find a VHS copy on Ebay or somewhere... (or just watch it on yt).

Back in the 90's I really enjoyed the "Show" video, because it was from the Wish tour and I'd seen one concert from that tour (Oct. '92), thus on video it looked similar to the show I'd experienced (the setlist wasn't the same, of course).
It's never enough...

SueC

Thank you for the information, @Ulrich.  I promise my next post will be back to the exact topic!  :angel
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SueC

Finally got around to watching the first half of the Curætion-25 gig last night and we both enjoyed that enormously.  To be honest, I was half expecting to be bored at the start because I'm not a huge fan of their earliest music (studio stuff, anyways) but I really wasn't, it was fantastic.  I tend anyway to prefer The Cure's music live - it takes on extra dimensions, is imbued with life and immediacy etc, plus they can do that AND sound technically better than in the studio at the same time, so wow... and it's just amazing to watch them put their music together in real time, just a bunch of people and their instruments...magic.

There's something viscerally comforting about the rhythm section at the core of this band - bass and drums just seep into you like some sort of auditory vitamin infusion; the low range drapes over you like a warm blanket on a cold day; your brain engages on this subterranean level, away from the usual cerebral stuff, and you just are.  It's very much the backbone of this music and carries everything else - splendid guitars working in with this, keyboards woven through, vocals floating around, sometimes not for quite a while because it's not the be-all and end-all of all this, and that's excellent...

We were talking about how this concert was shot, compared with the Hyde Park gig - the latter made us feel almost as if we were there; this one feels more like a documentary about the band.  Starting on the old TV screen dimensions for the first song, and that old video feel, took us back in time with it, although Brett was already saying, "OK, I just hope they don't do the whole gig like this!"  But they didn't...

A little wish, and I wonder if some others would like this too:   I wish for optional subtitles on concert films, in the little black bar beneath the film so as not to interfere with the footage.  It would allow a person to immediately get a better handle on the lyrics of unfamiliar material.  I find it so frustrating to only catch snatches of the words, as happens in some songs (and it's not just me, Brett actually has even more trouble making out what is being sung);  even just missing out a word in a line immediately becomes so unpleasant and makes it even harder to attend to what's next as the brain scrambles to keep up.   Maybe it's because I'm an avid reader, but if I watch a film with the subtitles on, I've already grasped what is being said well before the sentence is even out of a person's mouth, and I'm thinking about the implications while watching the body language and tone in which the sentence is delivered - instead of wondering what on earth that person just said, as can happen with broad regional accents, or mumbled delivery, or background noise - and while this may in part be becoming exacerbated by age-related hearing loss, I've always preferred to turn subtitles on when the subject material is complex or the words aren't 100% crystal clear (and BBC and ITV drama productions tend to do well in this regard - there it's not so confounding).

It's very un-fun to have to stop and rewind film footage to work out the words, or to try to sit there with a lyric sheet splitting one's attention between a piece of paper and a screen, or to get the impression that you have to study up before you watch a concert, just to catch the words.  It's a problem with some genres more than others, some singers more than others, some songs more than others, some listeners and their brain construction and the importance of lyrics to them more than others.  Anyway, with the lyrics already available in written form, it would be a simple thing to add optional subtitles to concert footage.

So I sit there getting frustrated, and Brett says after a while he just gives up, and just focuses on the music, and they might as well be singing in Swahili, and more's the pity because he'd quite like to know what is actually being said in the material we're less familiar with.  So yeah, optional subtitles would be excellent...


I've work to do and will add to this when I get some time / when we watch the second half etc. ;)

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SueC

Oops, I forgot I still hadn't done Part 2 here at the time, but I've just listened to the whole thing again, on audio, and I will second the comments by various people around the place that the sound quality on the Blu-Ray/DVDs is so much better than on the audio-only CDs which accompany it in our box set.  One person thought that was a bit of a theme, and you can translate him with a web tool if you don't speak German:

Quote from: undefinedMeine Rezension bezieht sich auf die Deluxe Edition. Zwei BluRay und 4 CDs. Enthalten sind das Curaetion 25 Konzert und das Anniversary Konzert. Soundqualität ist für Cure-Verhältnisse sehr gut, wobei es auf der CD teilweise etwas arg übersteuert klingt. Aber wer sich schon durch diverse Cure-Bootlegs in seinem Leben durchgehört hat, dürfte sich dennoch freuen.

Another one, from a different Amazon page:

Quote from: undefinedOnly giving this a 4 out of 5 due to the poor quality audio mix on the Curaetion audio CD's. The picture/audio quality on both Blu-Ray discs as well as the Anniversary audio CD's are fantastic; however the Curaetion CD's are mixed like a big block of sound losing all of their nuance and subtlety, and that's being played on an excellent stereo system. I've heard a 50/50 mix online from folks with similar issues which makes me wonder if there were two source files being ripped onto the discs? Anyway, other than audio CD quality on two of the discs, this thing is beautiful.

Yep, that's a common problem in music, especially since the loudness wars.  There's also far better sound on our copy of Trilogy than on our copy of the studio album Disintegration - we had Trilogy first, and when we ordered in Disintegration, I wondered if we had some kind of pirate copy because so much sound was missing off it.  It wasn't the era - the loudness wars weren't a big factor yet in 1989; Suzanne Vega's 1985 and 1987 CDs are so crystal clear and have a super dynamic range, like quite a few 80s CDs.  Brett is chipping in here to say that 1) she never jumped on the bandwagon that was all about being loud, and 2) the palette of instruments and sounds is quite pared-down and sparse on a lot of her songs.  @Matti explained to me on CF a while back that the reason Lullaby sounded clipped to me when I gave Disintegration its first spin is that I'd been used to hearing the single version, which was mixed/mastered differently.

(By the way, our copy of KMKMKM sounds great - does not have the lack of dynamic range of our copy of Disintegration.)

The eternal grumble of some of us is that CDs have gone downhill sonically on the whole, and most of the contemporary music concerts you go to, you get your ears blown off so that you can't really enjoy the sound very much.  Well, at least there's still concert DVDs etc.

Anyway, getting back to Curætion, I thought that the format of going forwards and then backwards playing a song each off each of the Cure studio albums was especially useful for a comparatively new fan like me, who's still coming to grips with some of the back catalogue - it's a nice bit of contextualisation, and it showcases the band's evolution.

One of the things I'm trying to reconcile is that I love almost everything I hear this band do live, but was very underwhelmed with CD-1 of Join the Dots.  It makes me almost afraid to go near the band's first four studio albums, but alas, today we've ordered in Pornography, which we've already heard in its entirety on Trilogy - the comparison between live and studio will be interesting - and also, there's going to be a straight comparison with the self-titled album, which is the last gap we have in their more recent albums, because we've ordered that at the same time.

The first four songs of the Curætion gig present no problems at all for me (mind you, I'm only catching about half the lyrics and listening more like @MAtT says he listens - easy to do when you're preoccupied with the sound and the big picture and aren't sitting there with a verbal magnifying glass).

Three Imaginary Boys is a nice warm-up song for an audience, or at least for this little fraction of the audience anyway.  I really like the way that's been put together musically,  excellent interaction between bass and drums especially, and as a song it's got simplicity and complexity both...  it sounds kind of anthemic, and it says, "Hullo, wake up, this is a gig - and one you're going to like!"

At Night I'd already heard on Paris etc.  Other Voices was new to me - it has a fabulous bass line and wonderful, chamber-quartet-like interplay between bass and other guitars, as so many Cure songs do. ♥


Other particular musical highlights of Part 1 for me were A Night Like This, Like Cockatoos, Pictures Of You, Jupiter Crash, and It Can Never Be The Same.  (And though it's a shockingly noisy song, I actually do have a place in my heart for It's Over as well, after engaging with it for a bit for a journalling exercise...)

Us Or Them was a new one to me - if I were to just take the music of this as an instrumental, I wouldn't nominate it as a favourite, but in combination with the (clearly enunciated) lyrics it's a different story - how else would you present these words? - the sound makes total sense, given the words.  This song, taken as a whole, made a big impression on me - like a dark fraternal twin to Imagine, born in the next millennium, in which sadly, nothing much seems to have come of the love-and-peace ideas of the 1960s; it's as if that never happened, when you look at the world now.  This song is a sort of catharsis for the disappointment of that, for me.  It's also way more angry than flower power, and I think the anger in this case is appropriate... anger that says, "Hello, this isn't right!" and provides some energy for changing things, because we neither can nor should always be accepting.


I love this song, the album is on its way to our house, and I'm undoubtedly going to write reams in response to its lyrics... ♥  Every now and then a song comes along that puts into words and sound something you've felt for a long, long time yourself, but never articulated as clearly.

It Can Never Be The Same and Step Into The Light are the axis around which this concert turns to retrace its trip through the years, two "new" songs, relatively speaking, which didn't make it onto an album but which I think are excellent, and already wrote about here.  If the quality of these is in any way indicative of the album in the works, we should be in for a big, big treat when it's finally released.

The backtrack starts with The Hungry Ghost, which is another conceptual favourite of mine I've waxed lyrical about previously.  I don't know much about the next one - Alt.End - as yet and can't make out the lyrics easily, so I'll wait for the album to get to our mailbox before getting the magnifying glass out - but on a human note, the way Robert Smith ends that song in this performance makes me smile, and makes my heart do a little leap, because there's so much misery and so many broken dreams in this world that it's really nice to hear someone in the second half of life express happiness over what life has so far held for them.

(Alt.End is starting to seep in and make sense, and seems to me to be a good fit for what lots of people feel when they burn out.  I'll look at it properly on Exploring the Back Catalogue when the relevant studio album gets here (they're guessing sometime in November); and I'll have another look at The Edge Of The Deep Green Sea when WIsh arrives (~first week of November) - it struck me again today just listening through that set how well The Cure paint heartbreak in musical form with songs like that one, Disintegration etc.)

Bloodflowers is my favourite Cure album, and though the musical intro to The Last Day Of Summer is really beautiful and the song would, like many Cure songs, make a decent stand-alone instrumental (this is not a criticism of the lyrics or singing in this song, just a compliment on carefully crafted music - many songs you hear in general wouldn't work without the sung part), I'm always seeming to hear this one and 39 in live sets, and not any of the other fabulous tracks off this album.  We'd both love to hear Watching Me Fall live, for instance; Brett is particularly keen to hear the title track live, and I, Where The Birds Always Sing, There Is No If and The Loudest Sound - and so far, we've only heard these on Trilogy.  (Brett did actually go to this concert before he acquired Bloodflowers but says it was all new to him, and he'd like to hear that again now he's familiar with it.)

One song that really pops out for me when played live is Sinking - fabulous construction, and fabulous sound; and in this set, it is no less superlative than a perennial favourite of ours, If Only Tonight We Could Sleep...


In fact, with the Curætion set, it's much harder for me to pick favourites than with the usual festival gigs, because they're not playing their "radio songs" here... as was the case with the Opera House gig last year...

One surprise for me from this particular concert was really liking Primary, for the first time in my life.  It's distinctly different to the way it was played here, 34 years earlier.  I remember playing that and other early performances through repeatedly and just not warming to it even slightly.  The version they've played here, I enjoy both the instrumental side and the vocal performance, which I think is so much better than it was in the earlier version.  It's funny how a song can be the same song, and not be.  The differences may be subtle-ish, but one I enjoy very much, and the other I still just don't.


All in all, this is one of the best concerts I've ever seen from anyone, really impressive - which is also how I felt about the Hyde Park concert, last year's live-streamed Sydney Opera House performance, and Trilogy, which are the main Cure concert films we've got at our house.  Each of these four is quite different, but excellent.  And to think I had no idea about any of this until a handful of years ago... it's simply not an impression I could form from what mainstream radio plays of this band, when mainstream radio is piped at you in a supermarket and you forgot your earplugs again.
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