Onstage June 8 at Kansas City’s Starlight Theatre for the smartly-titled “The Cure Tour 2016,” Robert Smith & Co. romped through the back catalogue for three hours and 31 songs of good ol’ Goth fun. Check out some video clips from the show below as well.
BY DANNY R. PHILLIPS
My struggle to see The Cure (the all-time greatest “Goth” band… The Smiths and Bauhaus can suck it) has been a long and tenuous one—whether a matter of geography, financial collapse, surgery (my Cerebral Palsy and the accompanying shit have ruined at least two of my chances), or a wife who told me no last time Bob and the boys were in town. (Now an ex-wife, it should be noted.)
Therefore, with the June 8 tour stop in Kansas City, MO, my drive was resolute, my goal was in sight and it would not be taken away from me. For months, I contacted PR people, the venue, anyone I could reach to get me in the door. Divorce had taken the buying a ticket option off the table so it was press clearance or ingenuity.
Upon arrival, I discovered that the clearance was not there, not a surprise. I would have to watch, listen, imagine from behind the black steel bars, like Johnny hearing a train rolling by but he can’t be saved; I would not be allowed to see The Promised Land. I sat on the stone bench, smoked a cigarette, took out my notebook and wrote of my defeat. As “Pictures of You,” “Plainsong,” and “High” travelled across the air, I sat near tears scribbling in my notebook, cursing luck, the ground, the security guards, anything within ear shot; making my exclusion from the show even bitterer.
However, it would seem that the real show was out front. A firetruck and an ambulance parked directly in front of me, the red and blue lights flashing away in the darkness, apparently will be my only chance at a light show on this night. It seemed someone called 911 on what was believed to be a dying homeless man (he was overheated and drank too much). In the midst of all this chaos stood the Goth Tinkerbell, a gorgeous woman in black, makeup streaked by tears and worry, waiting for her boyfriend, pacing on a grass covered hill, clearly trying desperately to hold back tears and worried thoughts. She told her story to security (she was openly weeping at this point), finally giving in and going to watch the concert. I watched her walk away alone, over the hill, past the crowd, and gone.
Just as the band was laying down the first notes of “Lovesong,” the long lost boyfriend burst forth from the parking lot. Jesse, I learned, had to work, he was worried… she cried as she listened from a distance. Was she crying for her man or losing faith that she would ever see Smith. I do not know if they found one another,r but I do have hope against hope that their story ends beautifully, not in a crash of despair and loneliness; fodder for yet another Cure song.
Then, after about 30 minutes of lamenting my fate, relegated to the outer limits, to parts so near yet so far, a saint swooped down and eased my pain. “If you take the snacks to the car, you can go in,” I was advised. This show would be monumental in the fact that I, no Rhythm Jones, actually danced in public at a concert, and I refuse shame. It was amazingly freeing. I’ll probably never do it again.
The saint, the triumphant hero, the coolest security guard I’ve ever dealt with—an absolute fucking gem.
I was in, I was there. Robert Smith in the flesh, one of the finest lyricists of my generation, was there on the stage, smiling a big red smile and singing of moonlight, spiders, identity crisis, and the urge to cry and laugh as the world burns down.
Admittedly, the set list was one of the weakest on the tour. No “Killing an Arab,” no “Letter to Elise,” no “Friday I’m in Love.” However, I did get to experience “Kyoto Song,” “In Between Days,” and I song that I’ve loved endlessly, the fantastic “Burn” from the original soundtrack of The Crow.
The Cure were excellent, all I dreamt of. They were at the top of the game and, with a three hour, 31 song, four encore setlist, the show did feel like a joyous goodbye and a long, breathtaking red lipstick-stained farewell kiss. [Below: The Cure posted a fan-sourced montage of video clips to their YouTube channel of the Kansas City show.]
Pictures of You
A Night Like This
In Between Days
The Last Day of Summer
Just Like Heaven
Prayers of Rain
It Can Never Be the Same
Shake Dog Shake
Hot Hot Hot
Let’s Go To Bed
Close to Me
Why Can’t I be You?
Boys Don’t Cry