Top 10 Things I Observed at The Cure’s November 23, 2011 “Reflections” Concert at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood
10. Cameras were allowed (even high-end digitals) and you could take as many photos as you wanted, just “no video recording” as the perky usher told me.
9. The “Reflections” tour saw The Cure playing their first three albums back-to-back-to-back in their entirety. Three Imaginary Boys was launched in 1979. Then Seventeen Seconds dropped in 1980 and finally Faith was issued in 1981. At the end of each album Robert Smith would say “I’ll see you in a year,” as he walked off stage.
8. One of the beauties of seeing The Cure in concert is that they are all about the music. There are no cheesy props on stage. There are no flashing lights or political statements dancing across an LED screen.
7. Lol Tulhurst, who joined the group for the Faith album looked stiff and out of place. At one point he flubbed the end of a song, which prompted Robert to point at his eyes and then at Lol with a look that said, “Watch me.”
6. The crowd at the Pantages was rather staid and not what I expected for The Cure concert. Overall it was an older crowd that may have jettisoned the eyeliner and crimson lipstick long ago.
5. The version of “Killing an Arab” was the best ever and there wasn’t a person left in their seat.
4. Three albums in their entirety and three encores; a slimmed down Robert Smith never looked winded.
3. Robert Smith’s little quips during the concert: “I finally figured out what that song means” and “I’m off to drop acid” were always funny and well-received by the crowd.
2. Speaking of Robert Smith, his scarecrow theatrics during “The Hanging Garden” were somehow haunting and Gothic.
1. Robert Smith lamented a couple of times about the Internet and how “everybody knows your business now” in reference to the publication of The Cure’s entire set list by L.A.’s online papers. To fix their wagon at the third Pantages show, The Cure gave the first live performance of its new single “Scent” during one of the three encores. This was a thunderous, dreamscape tune with no lyrics. Right after “Scent” The Cure played the B-side that sounded like it could have been a B-side to any song on Disintegration with dual keyboards at work. Toward the end of the song Robert surprised everyone by playing the harmonica, which seemed out of place, yet worked in the context of the song. Immediately afterward Robert Smith announced, “See, I can play two instruments.” Oddly, no L.A. online article mentioned this changeup by Smith and crew.
**Special thanks to FasoPhotography.com for the great photo of The Cure marquee.