The Cure shook the cobwebs from their epic hair last night, blasting out of their bat cave and into their North American tour in New Orleans with two new songs.
Piquing the interest of their multi-generational fan base, The Cure promised to play all sorts of oddities in the upcoming tour, including unreleased tracks, B-sides, and rarities. They delivered, hitting the stage with two never-before-played tracks, the first new music we’ve heard from the band since 2008.
Playing their first live show since 2014 at the UNO Lakefront Arena in New Orleans last night and tonight, Robert Smith and the band hit the road for Texas and a 30-show tour of North America, and then onward to a world tour including Sweden, Norway, Germany, Poland, Austria, Hungary, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Holland, France, Spain, Portugal, and even some dates in Australia and New Zealand where Robert Smith has historically been notoriously unenthused about going to due to the long-haul flight.
The evening featured Robert Smith on vocals and guitar, his right-hand man and longest-serving member Simon Gallup on bass, Jason Cooper on drums, Roger O’Donnell on keyboard, and Reeves Gabrels on guitar. The new tracks are the first offerings from the band since their 2008 album 4:13 Dream.
The two songs were captured by audience members and uploaded onto YouTube. The first came early in the heroic 28-song set list. A quirky number in three-four waltz time, it features Robert Smith’s signature plaintive wail but with a reasonably upbeat feel and an almost cutesy vocal throughout the verse that could have pop potential in the studio in the same vein as “A Letter To Elise” from the Wish album of 1992. It’s being called “Step Into The Light.”
They finished the whole evening with another new morsel titled in their trademarked nihilistic fashion “It Can Never Be The Same.” This six minute jaunt through the forest of Robert Smith’s mind is typical Cure-ish fare with jangling guitars and maudlin vocals reminiscent of their 1989 hit Disintegration. The new song came after four encores and was greeted with an appreciative, if somewhat weary, clap.
The tour marks 40 years for the band which formed in Crawley, West Sussex, U.K. in 1976. Frontman Robert Smith is the only original member of the band which has included a carousel of various musicians, although bass man Simon Gallup has been with the band on and off since 1979. Originally a punk band, their hair has grown longer with the songs, and the lyrics are renowned for their baroque-ish poetry.
Mining the rich veins of their back catalog in New Orleans last night, the poofy-haired British legends gave fans a thrill when they played “All I Want,” a yearning, yawning love song from the band’s mainstream breakthrough album Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, from 1987, reputedly the song’s first outing for 30 years. They also pulled out another gem from The Cure’s canon, a rare outing of “Burn” from 1994’s The Crow soundtrack.
Other blasts from the past in the playlist included a few of their lighter, poppier numbers such as “In Between Days” and “Just Like Heaven,” but was mostly a somber set with tunes like “From The Edge Of The Deep Green Sea,” “Lovesong,” “The Hanging Garden,” “One Hundred Years,” and “Play For Today.”
[Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images]