Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Cure at the Cox Arena

My Southern California tour of The Cure came to a close with one final stop at the Cox Arena in San Diego. Since my photos from Santa Barbara were used in OC Weekly for my review of their Shrine Auditorium show, I was looking forward to offering both the photos and review of their San Diego on my site.


The instrumental bludgeoning sounds of 65daysofstatic continued to grow on me with each successive live show. It was tough for me to appreciate their noisy racket in Santa Barbara because they were playing in the direct sunlight. Their dark and foreboding tunes fared much better in the vast confines of the Cox Arena with minimal stage lighting. 65daysofstatic released a new EP entitled The Distant and Mechanised Glow of Eastern European Dance Parties which is a pulsating electronic whirlwind of synthesizers and programming. 65daysofstatic opted for some of their more metal tinged instrumental tunes for the crowd. I recommend you listen to "Retreat! Retreat!" which is from their album The Fall Of Math for a good representation of their sound.

The Cure

The epic lead off song from Disintegration, "Plainsong" sparkled as bright as the background stars projected against the towering screens behind The Cure. The Cox Arena was electric on this particular night as they stood and cheered throughout the nearly three hour set. The fluid guitar lines of "Prayers For Rain" poured over the audience and drenched everyone in sound as Simon Gallup (Bass) dialed up some jet engine flanging on his Gibson Thunderbird Bass. A screaming wah pedal lead was quickly backed by Simon's pulsating bass line as The Cure embarked on "The Walk".

Jason Cooper(Drums) showed off his drumming skills with the syncopated beats of "To Wish Impossible Things" with Simon's bass quietly creeping along in the background. The stuttering bass line of "Pictures of You" was hypnotic as Porl Thompson (Guitars) added coats of atmosphere with his 12 string guitar. It was a spine tingling moment as the cheers from the crowd were deafening after Robert completed his first verse. Robert Smith's songwriting skills have been well documented but his tremolo picking during "Lullaby" was strong enough for me to appreciate his guitar technique. "From The Edge Of The Deep Green Sea" had Robert on his custom Schecter acoustic guitar as Porl shined with a wild shredding solo.

The Cure have been releasing new songs around the 13th of every month. "The Perfect Boy" is one of The Cure's new songs that I anxiously await as it is could have been included on Wish. "Hot Hot Hot!!!" had a loose almost funk feel to the song as Porl was frequently using his wah pedal. I already downloaded the new Cure song "The Only One" as it is an instant classic with its propelling bass line and shimmering guitar lines. "The Blood" was a nice surprise in the setlist with its seductive guitar lines as Robert had a nylon string guitar.

Another spine tingling moment of the show was the back to back wallop of "In Between Days" and "Just Like Heaven". The Cure didn't stop as they continued to play hit after hit. The windy visuals of "Jumping Someone Else's Train" perfectly fit the hyperactive bass line. Robert Smith used a glass slide to replicate the screams of "Lovecats". The multiple encores kept coming with "A Forest" perfectly capping the night. I have to give a lot of credit to the enthusiasm of the San Diego audience for making this the best of the three Cure shows that I saw.

The Cure setlist for San Diego at the Cox Arena (6/3/2008)
"Prayers For Rain"
"A Night Like This"
"The Walk"
"The End Of The World"
"To Wish Impossible Things"
"Pictures Of You"
"Fascination Street"
"From The Edge Of The Deep Green Sea"
"The Perfect Boy"
"Hot Hot Hot!!!"
"The Only One"
"The Blood"
"Sleep When I'm Dead"
"In Between Days"
"Just Like Heaven"
"Shake Dog Shake"
"The Baby Screams"
"One Hundred Years"
"Boys Don't Cry"
"Jumping Someone Else's Train"
"Grinding Halt"
"10.15 Saturday Night"
"Killing An Arab"
"The Lovecats"
"Let's Go To Bed"
"Close to me"
"Why can't I be you?"
"Play For Today"
"A Forest"

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