Dickie Felton | 5 December 2022 |
REVIEW | THE CURE | OVO HYDRO GLASGOW
As fans wait for The Cure they listen to endless rain with distant ripples of thunder.
The hour wait before a band takes to the stage usually consists of loud PA music.
But either side of the support – the excellent and eccentric The Twilight Sad – fans are treated to the sound of showers while staring at a starry galaxy.
Rhythms of rain – with a few forks of lightning – put the audience into a Zen-like soothed state.
I first watched The Cure in 1992. Tonight is my ninth time. I’ve now been at their concerts in each of the last four decades. And I’m usually sat miles away with binoculars in row Z. But not tonight.
I get to the venue early and queue on concrete in sub-zero temperatures for three hours in the hope of getting a bit closer to the action.
Fellow Cure queuer Jenny tells me her obsession with Robert Smith stretches almost 40 years.
Another fan says she ‘only discovered The Cure during lockdown’ and has binged on their back catalogue ever since. Tonight will be her very first Cure gig.
By the time the Hydro doors eventually open we are shivering in silence.
But the long wait feels so worth it to be just feet away from The Cure as they walk on stage shortly after 8pm.
They open with new song ‘Alone’ which has a lusciously long intro as Robert Smith stands papal-like, as if at an altar.
His fists are temporarily clenched as the film behind him features a revolving globe.
And gosh, it’s powerful. I’m 49-going-on-19-years-old as my head spins along with that vast planet.
The next three songs hit home hard – ‘Pictures of You’ – ‘A Night Like This’ – ‘Lovesong’.
I’m transported to another time and another world. It’s 1989 all over again.
But we are not witnessing nostalgia. We are in the presence of Britain’s best band at the height of their powers. If I’m wrong, sue me.
The ‘Songs of a Lost World’ tour is promoting an album without a release date. And tonight, the new tracks sound outstanding. Of course they do.
‘And Nothing Is Forever’ then ‘A Fragile Thing’ stand tall alongside ‘From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea’ and ‘Shake Dog Shake’.
There’s 14000 people here – a mix of all ages – from veterans like me, to teenagers grabbing their first fix of The Cure.
They singalong to songs even during the bits which don’t have words – ‘Play for Today’ and ‘Push’ prime examples where the crowd fills in.
It’s just a total joy. And the juxtaposition of songs across the eras just works.
There’s a deeply dark ‘One Hundred Years’ and then three songs later the throwaway pop of ‘Friday I’m in Love’.
At different times I’m transfixed by individuals within the collective – drummer Jason Cooper’s epic work on ‘Burn’, Reeves Gabriels’ guitar riff on ‘Just Like Heaven’, Simon Gallup’s dancing and new ending to ‘A Forest’.
Smith beams like a Cheshire cat during ‘Close to Me’ towards the end. His guitar is put to one side as he goes to thank the crowd for their support.
In almost three hours we are treated to 28 songs. And the fans want it to go on forever.
It feels like the gig of all gigs – a concert at the end of the world.
I’m shaking by the time The Cure eventually leave as its pushing 11pm.
I vow never to take my concert wristband off.
And I want it to rain forever.
Everything you’d want from a gig. But as my mates & I were saying the fact there’s one mic & one voice on the stage & it’s so perfect makes you watch in wonder. After the mud fest of Bellahouston a few years back it was a joy to feel the atmospheric sounds for all 3 hrs
Fantastic description of a gloriously indulgent evening. I loved the Twilight Sad performance which for me set the scene. I wasn’t in anyway disappointed, The Cure performance was awesome, spellbinding and emotional.
I’ve been listening to them for more years than I can remember, and I’ll never forget the live performance.
Many thanks for sharing your words!