Train rides are very reflective times for me. Looking out the window, places and people flying by your view as quickly as you see them, but always seeing life as it happens. Sort of like etching a photograph in your mind and then vanishing just as quickly. I will always remember the photographs I took with my mind on June 18, 2016 as I took the train in to NYC to see a band I had loved for as long as I can remember. A band who would constantly be a part of my life to help me through dark times, light times, really any times I needed them. I was finally getting to see The Cure, LIVE. And it was an experience I will never forget.
The Cure opened their three-night sold-out tour at Madison Square Garden on Saturday. Yes, I was there for their opening night at MSG! As my group—this ended up being a very needed girls trip to see a band all of us adored—walked up to the venue after having a great dinner and drinks at a great whiskey bar around the corner, we were met with many different people. To look around, you saw goths, ’80s diehards, new-wave Gen Xers, and everyone else in between. The Cure reaches out to a wide swath of individuals who just love their music. There is something in the tone of Robert Smith’s voice that gives you chills. Brings you back to a time where you dreamt that things were as good as they were ever going to be and couldn’t possibly get better.
As we made our way to our seats, I sat down and in front of me was all of MSG in its glory. It’s the first time I had ever seen a concert there. My husband—a certified Phish connoisseur and several hundred time goer to their New Year’s MSG concerts—told me, “You’ll never have an experience like this again.” So I soaked in every moment. We had the perfect view of the stage and the crowd, and the electricity coming from everyone was magic. When they came out on stage you would think that someone just told everyone that they had won a million dollars. The screams were deafening, but we were seeing our band, one I myself had waited to see since I was 11 years old. And of course as soon as the chimes started I knew it was “Plainsong” and I was put under a spell. It was like in the 27 years since I had first heard their album Disintegration that nothing had changed.
Robert Smith sounded exactly like he had all those years ago. It was absolutely mind-blowing. As they finished, took a beat, and went into the beginning trill of “Pictures of You” I started to cry a bit. This song, a song that means a lot to me even to this very day. It was just beautiful and melodic and exactly the way I remember hearing for the first time and like I was actually hearing it for the first time. It was just awe-inspiring. They played their hits, “Push,” “In Between Days,” “Friday I’m in Love,” and some rarities such as “The Caterpillar” and “The Hungry Ghost.” They played a setlist of 18 songs and four encores. Not one, not two, but FOUR encores. In one of the four, they even played new music. To say the crowd went nuts over the new music is an understatement. Earlier this year, Robert Smith announced himself we will be getting some new Cure, but I digress.
The last encore consisted of “Close To Me,” “Why Can’t I Be You?” and ended with “Boys Don’t Cry.” As they finished, walked off stage, and the thunderous applause began, I couldn’t believe what I had just witnessed. Robert Smith walked back onto the stage and was as grateful as if we gave him the gift, not the gift we had just received as Cure fans. The Cure had just left their hearts out there on the stage. They played like they always have, for fun, for the music, for the gratitude of being able to perform music all these years. It was truly a sight to behold. The Cure did music their way, and it has stayed with me all these years. Songs of theirs is where I go to when I am anxious or scared, or when I am happy and just want something to get lost in. Their music is the cure to whatever I need. The Cure will always be my all-time favorite band, and this show will always be the best live show I have ever seen.