|The Cure – Wembley, SSE Arena – 3 December 2016|
|Written by Jim Rowland|
|Wednesday, 07 December 2016 19:34|
Tonight sees perennial Brit rockers The Cure complete an extensive tour with the last of three sell out shows at Wembley Arena. Sold out this most certainly is – the venue is packed, there’s not a single empty seat and the fifteen thousand bodies packed in here ensure that despite the cold weather outside, inside it’s hot, hot, hot. In fact, it’s so hot, I wonder whether the venue has put the heating on to sell a few more drinks.
The Cure are not one of those bands who set off on a tour and perform the same set night after night. They change it quite radically each night, so a sneaky peak on the internet at set lists of previous shows gives you little indication of what to expect. What you can expect from the Cure is a long set, and tonight sees them perform for an hour and a half before returning for a series of three encores that total another hour and a half. There’s something for everyone too – many of the hits for the more casual fan, and some more obscure rarities and album tracks for the hardened fan, all backed up by a huge and quite stunning projection and light show. For me, it’s a chance to catch up with a band I haven’t seen live for 23 years!
Fans of 1985’s ‘The Head On The Door’ were in for a treat with no less than six of that album’s songs – ‘Kyoto Song’, ‘A Night Like This’, ‘The Baby Screams’, ‘Push’, ‘In Between Days’ and ‘Sinking’ - all delivered in succession at the start of the set, after ‘Open’ kicks things off. The ‘Disintegration’ album provides two set highlights for me in ‘Pictures Of You’ and ‘Lovesong’, two beautifully crafted songs, whilst ‘Just Like Heaven’ and ‘If Only Tonight We Could Sleep’ go back to the ‘Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me’ album, and the sublime ‘One Hundred Years’ gets dark and powerful.
The first encore gets obscure with the unreleased ‘It Can Never Be The Same’, and the rarity ‘Burn’ pleasing the hard core before a real Cure classic, ‘A Forest’, in extended form, provides another highlight and mesmerises the audience.
The second encore continues the darker mood with ‘Shake Dog Shake’, ‘Fascination Street’, ‘Never Enough’ and ‘Wrong Number’ before the band return for a final encore of a whopping ten songs. It’s here that the mood lightens with many of the bigger, more commercial hits. ‘Lullaby’, ‘The Caterpillar’, ‘Friday I’m In Love’, ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ and ‘Close To Me’ (yet another one from ‘Head On The Door’) serve as a reminder of how prolific The Cure were as a singles band, although ‘Why Can’t I Be You?’ is one step too far in the ‘80s pop direction for my taste. To round things off, the gig finishes by going back to the start of The Cure in 1979 with ‘Three Imaginary Boys’, ’10.15 Saturday Night’ and ‘Killing An Arab’.
This was a mammoth three hour journey through the world of The Cure, and quite spectacular. As they approach their 40th anniversary, The Cure remain hugely popular, relevant, unique and classic.