It is hard to believe that the Cure have been around since 1977. That is a whopping thirty-four years. During that time, they have gone from being a start-up punk band to goth rock to electro-beat to pop rock and back to good old alternative rock. There has also been one consistency with the band over the years and that is Robert Smith. Although song writing credits have been spread amongst the band members, there is always Robert. His distinctive guitar stylings overlaid with his fabulous distinctive vocals have been a mainstay of the band since their first releases in the late seventies. Simon Gallup joined the band for their second album and he has not looked back. His driving bass propels the Cure into the “move your butt” class. Robert Smith had three albums released at very different times, Pornography – 1982, Disintegration – 1989 and Bloodflowers – 2000, that he considered his trilogy. Truly, two of the bands best songs, in this humble writer’s opinion, came from these three albums, Fascination Street and Watching Me Fall.
In 2002, Robert and the Cure decided to take these three albums to stage and in Berlin on consecutive nights, playing the albums in their entirety in the order the songs appeared on the albums. These concerts were captured in their entirety by 12 cameras and the cinematography brought the intimacy of the music to DVD for all to appreciate.
They went through the gothic musings of “Pornography” during their first set. The performance of “The Hanging Garden” brought a thrill to the crowd and an energy to the concert that the band grabbed and ran with. Robert uses a six string bass for a lot of the songs and the power generated by this instrument is nothing short of magnificent to admire as the sound grapples with your head and your heart.
After a short break, the band kicks into one of its best selling album, “Disintegration” the second album of the Trilogy. This hit laden set includes my favourite, “Fascination Street” and what a version (although the band out did this performance during their 2009 performance at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto). But, this was not the end, but the start of the hits, songs like “love Song”, “Pictures of You” and “lullaby” sent the emotions of the audience into a searing frenzy of appreciation. The “Disintegration” showed that the band was very familiar with the material due to the number of singles from this collection. Interestingly, the original release on CD of “Disintegration” on CD included a couple of bonus tracks not included on the LP, but the live show includes these bonus tracks.
The following day, the Cure was back to perform the third album of the Trilogy, “Bloodflowers”. I remember getting home after purchasing the CD and being totally blown away. It was, I thought the best album performance by the band. And they did not disappoint with the live set. Totally astounding in its sonic scope. This was a performance of relatively new material that defied description. If I had one issue with it, it was the fact that “Watching Me Fall” occurs so early in the set. This driving anthemic rock odyssey belongs at the end or as an encore, but it occurs second on the album, so it is second on the show. This song must be heard to be believed. The set continues through the entire album with highlights such as “the Last Day of Summer” and the climactic title track, “Bloodflowers”. But they were not finished, an encore set of “If Only Tonight We Could Sleep” and “The Kiss” form Disintegration’s predecessor “Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me” end the show with a flourish.
The two disc DVD is filled out with an interview set with several of the band members. Great inside information of the preparation is provided with an insight into the goal of the concerts and the emotion behind.
This is a live DVD set, not just for Cure fans, but fans of great musicianship and live music. Add this to your collection, you will not be disappointed.