Twenty summers ago, The Cure headlined the popular alternative music station KROQ’s Blast From Past series. The crowds at these shows were tremendous despite their often mocked location, Southern California’s Inland Empire.
Echo & The Bunnymen, Duran Duran, The Psychedelic Furs, and more performed throughout the day. But it was The Cure I was there for.
I witnessed Robert Smith’s distinctive ardor for the first time in the front center of the pit. Never mind I had been standing in that spot for too many hours sunburned, and, I had peed my pants.
It was worth it.
It’s not that Robert, Simon, and Roger are goth deities in human form needing sacraments in piss to validate their talent, but seeing them, hearing them, and feeling them makes it seem like they are.
Sadly, the pics I took were probably on a used flip phone and never made it past MySpace.
Back then, festivals on a large scale were easy for me to endure. But, as I entered full-time motherhood and found a passion for conventions and now intimate venues, I didn’t think I needed to top that pissed-soaked transcendent experience more than once in a lifetime.
Then I changed my mind.
The discovery of emotive newer bands that have emerged within the past decade has awakened the desire to observe The Cure in a different time of life- even more connected to music and in clean clothes.
Six months ago, post-punk, dark-wave and new-wave bands announced Spring and early summer tours. Then, the legends came out with their announcements. Sisters of Mercy, Siouxsie Sioux, and then The Cure.
I tried to resist the urge.
But then I remembered how I captured The Cure’s enchantment whenever it rained in SoCal. Recalling how relieved I was when heartbroken from so many consecutive and conservative sunny days, and I’d play Prayers For Rain and The Same Deep Water As You.
And now, after spending much of my time in forests, the song A Forest feels even more like I’m tempting those I love to join me there.
I made fun of my anxiety when tickets were released after Robert Smith went to bat for North American fans. Giving a much-needed English-accented “FUCK OFF” to American capitalism.
Tickets were secured, and though I wasn’t up front and center this time, I was still affected by the romance of experiencing The Cure in a place I adore.
When I arrived outside Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, WA on June 1, 2023, I had to smoke a joint before enduring the crowds inside. As I smoked, relaxed my nerves and admired the fountains, I noticed an entire family with tour tees. One parent told their young one to run around as much as possible because it would be a long show. I wondered how much The Cure influenced that family’s multiple generations.
During the first few songs of the show, I noticed a Gen X couple seated in front of my hub and me huddling and cuddling while singing along with lyrics on their phone as Robert serenaded the entire arena. I wondered what songs meant the most to them as a couple. I know mine.
I didn’t take too many pics or videos because, if you’ve seen The Cure live, it’s hard when you feel like floating above yourself, dancing, melding, and crying. The visuals during the show made me wish I was altered in other ways, but again, it’s not required to capture the sensations of songs like Mint Car, Plainsong, A Forest, and even the time-old classic Lullaby.
Every Seattlite there, and I know collectively every human worldwide knows one or two lyrics from songs from The Cure. And still, Robert Smith, who had already performed three times at the Hollywood Bowl, San Francisco, Mountain View, and Portland just days before, put on that show in Seattle with as much energy and passion as if it was their first show in years. Perhaps we fans channel that energy back toward him with gratitude, inspiration, and indescribable feelings.
Thank you, and you’re welcome, The Cure!