The Cure



By Clare McCabe

Artist: The Cure

Date / Venue: Thursday July 21st, 2016 - Vector Arena, Auckland

It’s Thursday night at Vector. The black hair/eyeliner/lipstick is out in full force. And we are all waiting for the man himself, Mr Robert Smith.

Yes for the first time ever I got to catch a glimpse of our old chum singing all our favourites. And more. Much more. No need for a support band as I hear these guys play a long set (four encores anyone?).

Robert and the boys hit the stage and the audience are immediately cheering. Robert looks his usual cool self all in black, Simon bounces around the stage playing his bass super low, Roger looks suitably suave on keyboards to one side of the stage, Reeves chills out next to Robert with his guitar and Jason is out back on drums. 

I won’t confess to knowing the full Cure back catalogue but it hardly matters as they finish Plainsong, and swing into the first of many great tunes of the evening.  I suspect a lot of the crowd are hanging out for the hits, but there is so much atmosphere that it doesn’t matter if you don’t know all the songs. There are haunting keyboards galore, Robert’s voice is as strong as ever and a lot of the time his guitar is round his back as he uses his hands as much as his voice to sing those songs.

Robert brings out the fabulous big acoustic guitar for In Between Days and Friday I’m In Love is an early standout.  Let’s be honest, Robert is not one for the audience banter but who cares, this just means time for more songs. “Thank you”, he mutters quietly between songs before launching into the next gem – “Show me how to do that trick, the one that makes me scream she said”. Oh yes.

When we get to the psychedelic A Forest, Robert hits a new level - so damn melancholy. And so beautiful.

But it’s not over yet people. These guys love encores we found out last night. And what do encores mean? Saving the best songs for last I suspect… 

So with a couple of tea breaks in between, the boys just keep coming back for more. Oh my god here comes Lullaby - I think we’ve gone up another notch. Robert does his fabulous little dance and then sings the line of the evening, “Spiderman is having me for dinner tonight”.  Could that be the peak? Of course not my friends. 

I hope no-one left early because next up are Close To Me and Lovecats. We’re right back in the 80s now - Robert puts down the guitar and that dance is in full force. We even get Let’s Go To Bed and then “this is our last song” and the boys swing into Boys Don’t Cry with Roger being forced to play tambourine to one side and Robert coming to a crescendo at the end. The boys walk off, but Robert wanders round the stage, perhaps not quite ready to say goodbye. And then with a couple more waves he’s gone. 

Jesus what a night. Thank you Robert for coming to sing for us. You were everything we wanted and more. A true old-school rock star. Our favourite kind.