Curiosa: The Cure, Interpol, Auf der Maur, The Rapture and more
Tweeter Center, Tinley Park, IL
Friday, August 12, 2004
The Cure's attempt to throw a summer festival tour to celebrate the release of its first album in four years didn't quite achieve the "comeback" energy it should have last Thursday.
Despite a solid lineup of up-and-coming bands that Cure fans should have embraced, there were half as many people on the Tweeter Center lawn, compared with the last time the Cure played a solo show there.
This August evening was unseasonably cool and gloomy, and, aside from the skull rings at the jewelry table, the vendors area didn't really seem to have the right merchandise for an aging goth crowd.
And Muse, one of the most promising support bands, cancelled because its bass player hurt his wrist.
Musically, though, Curiosa still hit the spot.
The Rapture’s Cure-esque vocals were a perfect precursor for the headliners, though Auf Der Maur’s stomp rock on the side stage may have been a little heavy for some.
Formerly with Hole and Smashing Pumpkins, Melissa Auf der Maur proved herself an able frontwoman, leading her new band through a half hour set of thundering bass and beats.
She joked that the “romantic summer tour” seemed to have found the “first day of fall” in Chicago, and promised a sweaty small club tour later this year.
Interpol drew everyone into the main stage with its Joy Division-meets-Fred (B-52's) Schneider vocals and mechanical delivery.
The band's angry mix of angular guitars and pounding goth textures went over well with a crowd well-peppered in jet black hair, cherry lips and clove cigarette smokers.
The Cure took the stage just after 9 p.m. for a strong hour and 45 minute set filled with hits. They opened with the sprinkling bells and airy glory of “Plainsong” from Disintegration, before rolling out a setlist that was the antithesis of the jammy, dirgy vibe from their Bloodflowers tour.
This time around Robert Smith and the band were more bouyant than morose, and played their current hit “The End of the World” (from The Cure) alongside older radio favorites like “High,” “Fascination Street,” “In Between Days,” “Just Like Heaven,” and “Pictures of You.”
The band did intersperse some dark material amid the pop songs, including “From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea” from Wish and closed the main portion of the show with “The Promise,” the angry but resigned song that caps their latest CD.
They encored with a four-song romp through their most upbeat material that had fans bouncing and singing along as the band moved from “Close to You” and “Lovecats” to “Why Can’t I Be You,” and “Boys Don’t Cry.”
Fans can only hope it doesn’t take four more years before the band returns.