The Cure

The Cure

Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, MD • June 18, 2000

Appropriately, there was a slight drizzle as the crowd filtered into the Merriweather Post Pavilion to see the Cure. I only spotted one Robert Smith lookalike, and the rest of the crowd was a pretty even split: half goths and half forty to fifty year-old couples. By the time the concert had started, the goth in front of me had smoked a pack of cigarettes and the forty year-olds next to me were well on their way to severe inebriation. When the stage lights kicked on, an eerie sort of silent anticipation overtook the crowd until the band finally came out and the crowd went crazy. Even the goths were cheering loudly.

The first song they played was “Out of this World,” the first track on their new album, Bloodflowers. Right from the start, the drunken forty year-olds got on my nerves. They kept yelling, “Play something old!” Then when the Cure played something new, they would mutter, “damn.” In fact, they even muttered curses when the band played “One Hundred Years,” off of Pornography. I didn’t check for their reaction, but I bet “Killing An Arab” was the only song old enough to make them happy.

The lighting and visual effects were nothing original, but they complimented the music well. There were three screens behind the band that looked about fifty feet tall, and they showed different collections of images during songs. “Fascination Street” was accompanied by images of neon signs from adult novelty stores and strip clubs. During “Want,” there were about five hourglasses projected onto the screens. For the last song before the encores, they played “Bloodflowers,” the final (and title) track from the new album, and there was a massive copy of the flower projected onto the middle screen. This final image looked three-dimensional.

The show lasted almost exactly three hours, and the band played three encores. According to legend about the Cure, the band only plays “Killing An Arab” at the end of a concert when Robert has had an especially good time. Throughout the entire third encore, he played with a wide grin, and when he played the opening five notes to “Killing An Arab,” there was a loud scream of delight as a hardcore fan recognized the intro. Maybe Robert had a good time because the mass of people packed in front of the stage never stopped dancing, maybe he was happy because of the sheer size of the crowd, or maybe he was happy because he knew that they were selling Dream Tour T-shirts for forty-five dollars a piece and most sizes had sold out by the end of the show. No matter what the reason, the band was having a good time, the crowd was having a good time, and the beer vendors were having a good time. Everyone was happy (even though the goths would never admit it).

As the crowd filed out, there was the normal discomfort of being crammed against twenty people surrounding you. After about five minutes of hardly moving at all, the goth standing next to me turned to his friend and declared, “I hate people.” It might not have been so funny if he hadn’t had the exact voice they used on the Saturday Night Live skit about goths, but he did. He was a sincere misanthrope.

Overall, the most important lesson I learned at the concert was that if you plan to be performing shows past the age of forty, you really ought to start wearing make-up when you’re young so that you can pretend it’s all just some kind of fashion statement. It’s just too bad that Robert Smith didn’t let the keyboard player, Roger, in on the secret, because he sure could have used some. Nevertheless, their music has definitely not suffered as it aged, and Roger’s keyboard riffs are an essential trait in “Out of this World” and all of their new songs. The Cure is still an integral band in pop culture, and their performance at Merriweather Post Pavilion confirmed their role.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Southern Accents 55
    Southern Accents 55

    A woofin’ good time with cuts from Hank Williams, Muddy Waters, Delta Moon and more from KMRD 96.9, Madrid, New Mexico!

  • Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
    Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

    Absurdism with a healthy dose of air conditioning.

  • Mixtape 172 :: My Old Bassist
    Mixtape 172 :: My Old Bassist

    Like pre-teens throwing every liquid into the kitchen blender and daring each other to drink the results, Woody and Jeremy fuse all manner of sounds legitimate and profane into some murky concoction that tastes surprisingly good.

  • Demons/Demons 2
    Demons/Demons 2

    Synapse Films reissues Lamberto Bava’s epic ’80s gore-filled movies Demons and Demons 2 in beautiful new editions.

  • Sylvie Courvoisier and Mary Halvorson
    Sylvie Courvoisier and Mary Halvorson

    Searching for the Disappearing Hour (Pyroclastic Records). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Payal Kapadia
    Payal Kapadia

    Earlier this year, director Payal Kapadia was awarded the Oeil d’or (Golden Eye) for best documentary at the 74th Cannes Film Festival for her debut feature, A Night of Knowing Nothing. Lily and Generoso interviewed Kapadia about her poignant film, which employs a hybrid-fiction technique to provide a personal view of the student protests that engulfed Indian colleges and universities during the previous decade.

  • Roger’s and Hammerstein’s Cinderella
    Roger’s and Hammerstein’s Cinderella

    A classic children’s tale re-imagined by America’s greatest composers.

  • Taraka

    Welcome to Paradise Lost (Rage Peace). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • AFI Fest 2021
    AFI Fest 2021

    The 2021 edition of the American Film Institute’s Festival, was a total success. After mounting a small virtual festival in 2020, AFI Fest came roaring back this year with a slate of 115 films representing over fifty countries. Lily and Generoso rank their favorite features from this year’s festival which include new offerings from Céline Sciamma, Miguel Gomes, and Jacques Audiard.

  • Comet Of Any Substance
    Comet Of Any Substance

    Full Of Seeds, Bursting With Its Own Corrections (COAS). Review by Carl F. Gauze.

From the Archives