The Cure – Reflections show – at The Pantages Theatre – Los Angeles, CA

November 22, 2011

The Cure - Reflections show - at The Pantages Theatre - Los Angeles, CA - November 21-22, 2011What can be said about The Cure’s 3 night stand in Hollywood over the last week is nothing short of what the band have really been about for the last 30 plus years; truly Fan-fuckin-tastic! Robert Smith and Co. have toured through LA many times over the decades bringing their unique productions and fan pleasing arsenal of set lists, though what occurred over their 3 night staywas truly an unforgettable “Once in a lifetime” kind of deal. The shows were also very special as they welcomed back founding member Lol Tolhurst and keyboardist Roger O’Donnell; whose roles on stage hugely impacted the atmosphere over the course of their stay.
The Cure - Reflections’ show - at The Pantages Theatre - Los Angeles, CA - November 21-22, 2011
Opening the night as a 3 piece with their first album “Three Imaginary Boys”, The Cure kicked off the show with their earliest number of post-punk favorites. 10:15 Saturday Night has been an end of the set song in recent years, though now as a set opener it works perfectly at getting the crowd ready for the onslaught of songs to come. Tracks like “Grinding Halt” showcase the trios ability to rock joyful songs effectively in a playful manner while the title track takes on a more serious and somber tone. The band closed out the first set of the night with the instrumental track “Weedy Burton” which soon signaled the first intermission of the night. For many it was a mad dash to purchase Cure merch and for others; very overpriced beer, I might add the concession stands candy was double the amount of what a movie theatre charges!
Robert Smith - The Cure - Reflections’ show - at The Pantages Theatre - Los Angeles, CA - November 21-22, 2011
The next set of the night saw the band performing their very atmospheric album “Seventeen Seconds” as a 4 piece band. With Roger O’Donnell on keys the band now sounded fuller (The Cure has played without keys since 05’ to many fans disliking) and like “The Cure” that people have come to know and love for years. The 40 minute set contained a much darker set of tracks, all of which were played to the enjoyment of everyone. Though without a doubt the highlight of the “Seventeen Seconds” set was the fan favorite “A Forest” - the infamous track of a mans search of a girl who’s never there. The intricate lighting design worked with the theme of the songs and as you guessed it, for that track in particular the stage was lit forest green. The few remaining songs of set 2 were a morose batch as “M”, “At Night” and “Seventeen Seconds” closed out on the darkest vibe possible. It was during this set that I noticed Robert and Simon Gallup (bass) playing their old Fender guitars, the same kinds they used in their early years to get that unmistakable “Cure tone“, something that has been absent in recent years until the Reflections show. (We can only hope the band will catch note of how amazing they sound again)
The Cure in Los Angeles 2011
Set 3 saw founding member Lol Tolhurst on stage and the band existing as a 5 piece unit. Tolhurst held down duties on a set of electronic roto drums equipped with cymbals and of course his trusty synthesizer. The set known as "Faith" contained perhaps the bands most obscure gems and easily their most underrated hits. “All Cats Are Grey” and “Funeral Party” were by far the best received and by the tail end of “Faith” fans knew to expect another slew of live rarities and early hits.

The Cure’s first encore was made up of rare b-side tracks from early singles that were making their live debut. Even though most fans weren’t as familiar with the songs, the sheer excitement of witnessing these rarities was powerful and very pleasing. “Boys Don’t Cry” turned the tide as it’s one of the most popular tracks to come out of the 1980’s. The obscure favorite “Charlotte Sometimes” managed to send the crowd into a fury as well with its dream like synth leads. They were even more beautiful sounding in a live setting than on record. As the set continued on The Cure managed to bust out the drum heavy fan favorite “Hanging Garden” from 1982’s Goth rock masterpiece “Pornography”. It’s easy to imagine that there couldn’t be a gloomier place on earth for the time being.
The Cure in Los Angeles
The final encore of the night included some of the bands more well known early hits and thus created dance frenzy thru out the entire venue. The synth heavy “Lets Go to Bed” and “The Walk” were met with every fan roaring, though it was the shows closer “The Love cats” that owned the night and sent the band off on a fun note.

This particular review is a reflection (how ironic!) of my experiences at both Monday and Tuesday night’s shows. Although very similar, I could continue to see the same set played night after night and never grow tired of the sheer awesomeness of it all. As a lifelong fan of The Cure I can’t even begin to express how amazing it was to see the band as a full unit again playing songs no one would have ever expected to see live until now (and of course their 3 very important early releases). I want to add how cool it was to see fans in bands like Daniel Ash of Bauhaus, Trent Reznor of NIN, Chino Moreno of Deftones, Shane of STG, Andy of Peeling Grey and Adrian of No Doubt all at the shows rocking out with all the “black swarm” in attendance. The Reflections show is going down as a very important era in Cure history, and I sure am glad to have witnessed it two nights in a row. Let us all hope The Cure play LA again (With keyboards please!) in the not to distant future.

Setlist: Three Imaginary Boys set - 10:15 Saturday Night - Accuracy - Grinding Halt - Another Day - Object - Subway Song - Foxy Lady - Meathook - So What - Fire In Cairo - It's Not You - Three Imaginary Boy - The Weedy Burton - Intermission - Seventeen Seconds set - A Reflection - Play For Today - Secrets - In Your House - Three - The Final Sound - A Forrest - M - At Night - Seventeen Seconds - Intermission - Faith set - The Holy Hour - Primary - Other Voices - All Cats Are Grey - The Funeral Party - Doubt - The Drowning Man - Faith

Encore: World War - I'm Cold - Plastic Passion - Boy's Don't Cry - Killing An Arab - Jumping Someone Else's Train - Another Journey By Train - Descent - Splintered In Her Head - Charlotte Sometimes - The Hanging Garden - Let's Go To Bed - The Walk - The Lovecats.

-Louie Bones-

Big Wheel Staff Reporter

More photos of the show can be seen HERE


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