Published on theMusic.com.au, Aug 2016
Pic by Karen Lowe
In a picture perfect entrance, The Cure assembled below the lull of faintly flickering stage lights and laid down a bed of nostalgic synth for rock icon Robert Smith to make his entrance through thickening fog.
Swatting his hair out of his eyes, quickly adjusting the mic stand and peering from behind the shadows, he delivered the evening’s mission statement. “Sometimes you make me feel like I’m living at the edge of the world,” Smith sung in opener Plainsong, as its booming drums and twangy guitar tones drifted across the arena and lifted the audience to a high that felt just like that.
It was an unmistakable voice that evoked a spread of emotions after guiding many in the room through highs and lows over the past 40 years. The delicate yet bold guitar work built a web of nostalgia for 1989 single Pictures Of You, and an awe-inspiring light show carried emotionally drenched melodies in A Night Like This.
Equipped with an acoustic guitar donning the band’s star emblem, Smith led the evening’s first epic singalongs as megahits In Between Days and Friday I’m Love were rolled out early on in the piece.
Renowned as a reclusive character, Smith needed little banter to justify his position front and centre, as his pitch-perfect vocal execution and brief moments on harmonica and flute further secured his title of one of the all-time greatest singer-songwriters; the masses well and truly in his trance by the time the setlist hit Lullaby.
The only one constantly moving throughout the entire set, bassist Simon Gallup transferred his energy to the audience with chunky, tight bass in Just Like Heaven; an intro that yielded shrieks of joy from those still on a high from Lovesong.
Guitarist Reeves Gabrels unleashed a technical onslaught From The Edge Of The Deep Green Sea, stealing the show until Smith reclaimed the spotlight as the show hit one of many climaxes during the gritty conclusion of Want.
Their first exit was far from The End, with Smith and co quick to re-emerge with a public service announcement. “Cover your fucking mouth when you sneeze,” Smith spouted in relation to his husky voice, quick to acknowledge the trivial and irrelevant nature of his rant. “This is no laughing song,” he added, leaping into It Can Never Be The Same; it’s accompanying lighter backdrop inciting only a handful of punters in the nosebleed section to partake in the festivities.
After three emotionally drenched hours (including four encores) that rendered a nostalgic overload capped off with show closers The Love Cats, Close To Me, Boys Don’t Cry (and a handful of dance numbers inbetween), The Cure had more than proved their worth and lived up to the hype instilled from rave reviews of their Splendour In The Grass headline stint a week previous. Perth’s going to be a little emotional for the next few days.