One of my first concerts in the early years included an amazing performance by The Cure at the Rose Bowl back in 1992 with Dinosaur Jr. opening. I had a bunch of The Cure shows lined up but was disappointed when they announced they were postponing their shows in order to work on their new double album. One of the few dates they kept was the Download Festival at Shoreline amphitheatre. I opted to miss one of Morrissey's shows in order to go to Mountain View to catch The Cure.
I was too late to catch Love Like Fire and was disappointed I missed them. They totally rocked the Detroit Bar last time I caught up with them. I still can't get enough of their new EP "An Ocean in the Air". I will catch them again for sure.
She Wants Revenge
I wondered into the Shoreline Amphitheatre as She Wants Revenge were rounding out their set. I saw the debut of their new tunes at the OC fair . They have recently released a new album entitled "This is Forever" that I have on deck for evaluation. I did catch the new track "This Is The End" which ironically had a Cure vibe to it. I will see their full set at the Grove in Anaheim.
They had two stages in different locations at Shoreline Amphitheatre and I ran to the other stage to catch the Black Angels. Black Angels have a hallucinogenic vibe that conjurs visions of sitars, pipes, and kaledioscopes. I enjoyed both of their sets when I saw them open for Black Rebel Motorcycle Club earlier this year. The Black Angels are touring behind their psychedelic offering "Passover". I did spot a Moog Opus 3 on stage and a Vox Jaguar keyboard that helped transport the audience back in time. It was still early in the day and weird seeing them behind a gorgeous blue sky versus a dark smoke filled club. I left their set after a handful of songs because I didn't want to miss any of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.
My friend texted me in the middle of BRMC to tell me that Metric was destroying over at the side stage. I was not going to miss BRMC, but quickly walked over to catch the remaining songs of Metric. I realized that my friend was right as Emily Haines (Vocals/Synths) was jumping all over the stage. When I wasn't admiring Emily's performance, I spotted a Sequential Circuits Pro-One that she was hammering on to get some warm analog patchs. I manuvered closer to the stage to see that James Shaw(Guitars/Synths) had a Dave Smith keyboard. I was thinking that Dave Smith would probably approve. It turns out he did, because he was standing in front of me. I recognized him from my trip to NAMM last year, and managed to talk to him for a bit. I forgot to ask him about the drool worthy new Prophet '08. Metric did a phenomenal job and got the crowd really going when they played "Stadium Love". If I didn't have my Morrissey marathon, I would have checked them out at one of their shows.
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (BRMC) in the middle of the day was another odd site to see. The sun must have baked Robert Levon Been (Bass/Vocals) as he wore his black leather jacket. The sun was outshone by BRMC's set as they simply killed it. They opened with "Took Out A Loan" and never looked back. Peter Hayes (Guitars/Vocals) managed to grab a violin bow to use on his guitar for the opening noise washes of "All You Do Is Talk" which happens to be one of the best tracks off of "Baby 81". "Weapon Of Choice" was a crowd pleaser as some of the audience members started to rise out of their seats. I was surprised that they played "American X" as it included the feedback symphony ending by Robert that runs for about eight minutes. I laughed when I saw Robert had a strip of black tape over his Fender Telecaster as they are sponsored by Gibson Guitars.
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club Setlist at the Shoreline Amphitheatre
"Took Out A Loan"
"Spread Your Love"
"Ain't No Easy Way"
"All You Do Is Talk"
"Weapon Of Choice"
"Need Some Air"
"Whatever Happenend To My Rock 'N Roll(Punk Song)"
Kings Of Leon
Kings Of Leon were closing out the second stage and I checked in with them. They sounded great but were having monitor problems and could not hear themselves that well. "My Party" was extra loud with Jared Followill (Bass) knocking out the fuzz drenched bass line on his Gibson Thunderbird bass. I heard some more of their set in the background as I went to get some dinner.
I heard of AFI back in the day when I saw Screw 32 play up in Northern California. Screw 32 had a bunch of AFI stickers on their guitars and told the audience to check them out. I never got into them that much but their stage lighting was fantastic for photography. Jade Puget had a bright white Gibson Les Paul. I heard they did a cover of David Bowie's "Ziggy Stardust".
The Cure postponed all of their North American dates except for this show. I imagine they were contractually obligated to fulfill this date as they were the headliner for the Download Festival. I was curious to see how the band would fare without keyboardist extroadinaire Roger O'Donnell . The Cure is now a four piece with Jason Cooper (Drums), Porl Thompson (Guitars), Simon Gallup (Bass) and Robert Smith (Guitars/Vocals). They opened with the logical track of "Open" and I couldn't help but have flashbacks from the 1992 Rose Bowl show. "alt.end" was next and I was waiting for a song that had keyboards to come up in the set.Robert Smith was playing his custom Schecter Ultracure signature guitar. Porl Thompson was playing his custom Schecter signature white guitar with a Bigsby Tremolo. Porl was attempting to play some of the keyboard parts on his guitar but it didn't sound quite right in the context of the song. Robert Smith sounded timeless as ever and commented to the crowd how it was such a big departure to be in the studio one moment and then in front of a large screaming audience the next moment. Simon Gallup knocked me to the floor with his low hanging bass and trademark high bass notes. Jason Cooper must run marathons to keep in shape in order to keep the beat for almost 3 hours. The sheer length of their set makes me wonder why other bands can't play longer sets.
The Cure Setlist for Download Festival at Shoreline Amphitheatre (10/06/07)
"A Night Like This"
The Baby Screams"
"The End of the World"
"Pictures of You"
"How Beautiful You Are"
"In Between Days"
"Just Like Heaven"
"If Only Tonight We Could Sleep"
"Signal To Noise"
"One Hundred Years"
"Shiver and Shake"
"Three Imaginary Boys"
"Fire In Cairo"
"Boys Don't Cry"
"Jumping Someone Else's Train"
"10:15 Saturday Night"
"Play For Today"