Curiosa Festival - Live

By paul

It's a few days after Sunday's incredible performance by The Cure. This would be the 5th time I've seen The Cure and I must say probably the best set list I've ever been privileged to hear. Wai Bong Ng said in his review of the NYC Curiousa event that "unlike many other bands, The Cure is always great live"... True!

I'll start from the beginning:

Mogwai and Cooper Temple Clause:
Hanging out in the parking lot eating and drinking I walked in right after Mogwai finished their set... DAMN! I wasn't completely heartbroken because I've seen Mogwai four times, but it still would have been nice to see them. A few British friends that I was with mentioned that Cooper Temple Clause were good. I would have liked to have seen them and their standard-issued Brit-Rock haircuts.. oh well again.

Auf Der Maur:
I suppose her vocals are good and some of the songs were fairly catchy, but it basically seemed like one big mess of power chords. Not necessarily good, but not necessarily bad either. Enjoyable nonetheless for not having heard her album. She does have stage presence - I'll give her that.

The Rapture:
The Rapture were a *really* good live band and I must say that I was impressed. I've heard bits and pieces of Echoes but not the whole thing. This sparked a bit more interest in them. Generally speaking people seemed to enjoy their set.

Hmmmmm. I guess I just can't get by this band's vocals. All the guy seems to do is whine. They are a decent live band and did garner many people who came to see them.

I know Crystal mentioned in her review that they were "boring" but I couldn't disagree more... Interpol were absolutely fantastic! Like Wai mentioned in the Randall Island review, they did tailor their set list to include the more upbeat songs, but they are just so tight as a live band and I love their songs *so* much that I was blown away with every song. They played "Evil", "Narc", and "Slow Hands" from the up and coming album and those sounded wonderful live. I can't wait until they tour to unleash the rest of their new album live. Over time I have just come to love this band more and more and every live performance just reenforces this.

I have a copy of "Showviz" that mostly collects dust in my CD collection. I listened to it again after Sunday's night performance and it's a decent album. But I will say: Muse live? That's one hell of a live band. I'm tempted to check out their 2nd and 3rd albums, but we'll see. Either way I was impressed at just how many people came to see them and how great a live show they play. Their lead singer can wail, when he's not being an incredibly talented guitar player or playing the piano/keyboards!

The Cure:
Something about seeing The Cure always brings me back to being 17 years old and tonight's performance was no exception. To say that I was impressed with their live show is an understatement. The Cure are a fantastic live band and their setlist was something I could have only dreamed of. Check out what they played that night (Taken from Chain Of Flowers' site).

Plainsong, Shake Dog Shake, Fascination Street, A Strange Day, The End of the World, Anniversary, Lovesong, Inbetween Days, Just Like Heaven, Jupiter Crash, Pictures of You, Lullaby, Maybe Someday, Before Three, From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea, alt.end, One Hundred Years, Disintegration

1st encore: Charlotte Sometimes, Faith

2nd encore: Boys Don't Cry

So basically one song from each album (except 17 seconds), six songs from Disintegration, and four songs from the new album...

Yes! ** SIX ** songs from Disintegration, which has always been my favorite album ever. Words can't even describe was it was like to hear the opening chimes of "Plainsong" with those gorgeous keyboards... only to go into "Shake Dog Shake" with a fury... simply unreal. Like the Randall's island gig, "100 Years" and "From The Edge Of The Deep Green Sea" were intense guitar driven masterpieces. It was great to "Pictures Of You" again and it was the first time I had actually heard "Love Song" played live. "Fascination Street" was excellent as it usually is and "A Strange Day" was an excellent segway to some of the newer songs and singles. "Anniversary" is definitely one of the better new songs and takes a life of its own live as well as "Before Three" which is excellent also. It's nice that The Cure acknowledges Wild Mood Swings by playing "Jupiter Crash" which is a beautiful song.

The Cure also ended the main set wonderfully with the 1-2 punch of "100 Years" and "Disintegration", which is a song that is absolutely meant to be played live. It just builds up and builds up some more and before you know it just comes crashing down in the most moving way.

Then the 1st encore came. "Charlotte Sometimes" was a pleasant surprise and is always better live then on the recorded version... but then.. When they started to play the opening chords of "Faith" I nearly fell over. "Faith" has been my favorite Cure song for so long and I never thought I'd hear them play it live. It was just magical to hear it done live. Robert added another verse to the song - I wish I had some idea of what those lyrics were. I just stood there dumbfounded that they were playing it and that it sounded so good.

And generously enough, despite being over the "11:00" Curfew we got a 2nd encore of "Boys Don't Cry" and the crown came alive again. What a perfect way to end a wonderful day.

The last thing I will say about this festival is that it was organized *so* well. Bands played and ended when they were scheduled, it was easy to get back and forth between the 2, and for some reason it was just a great atmosphere overall. I remember reading on their web site earlier this year a message that said something like "Don't worry we are organizing this, so it will be done right." Fair enough, they did a fantastic job of this.