June 22, 2023

The Cure played Madison Square Garden (Night 2)

The Cure played a marathon set to a sold-out Madison Square Garden on night two on their three night residency.

For over four decades, The Cure have been delighting audiences with their dynamic blend of goth, hard rock, ambient, and pop tunes that all combine for one extraordinary performance. On their current North American tour, the band have taken an extra step-up and proven themselves to be the band of the people, fighting scalper price gouging and inane Ticketmaster fees. They've blocked resales of their tickets and kept face value tickets within a reasonable range for fans. In some cases, they've even been able to get their fans refunded for excess charges. On top of all that, they came to the world's most famous arena and delivered a career-spanning set list of undeniable hits and deep cuts for die hard fans, never too cool to play their most beloved songs for their loyal followers. "Pictures of You" was an early highlight that had the crowd swooning with sheer joy, the glow for Robert Smith brimming brightly as the wistful guitar melodies shone bright through the arena. "A Night Like This" got more applause from the crowd before the band dipped into the aching "Lovesong," a track that carried enormous weight and still dazzled with heroic proportions. The sparkling guitar never dulled and the vibes transcended throughout the arena, continuing to set the mood for the night ahead. "We haven't played this one in a while," Smith said before the band burst into "Like Cockatoos" from Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me, a number that serenaded the crowd with the utmost charm. The deep cut "Burn" snuck its way into the set as well, another killer inclusion for so many that also brought the house down. "Push" continued to uplift spirits, the ubiquitous joy that resonates from those supreme synth melodies and guitar riffs rang through the arena and got people on their feet. A kaleidoscopic "Fascination Street" was filled with rainbow effects and dazzling lights, further propelling the night into a blissed-out haze of dreamy pop inundated with swirls of heavenly guitar. "Shake Dog Shake" got the encore grooving with a nasty beat and "A Forest" brought the synths into hyperdrive as the band lashed out and put things into top-gear, the rocket-like propulsion speeding away into a new frontier as the static dissipated over the audience and blanketed everyone in a bath of lush vaporwaves. The final encore was an incredible foray into some of the biggest hits of the '80s and the subsequent genre the band pioneered with their blend of gothic post-punk and unbridled pop melodies. As the opening chords of "Friday I'm in Love" rang out, the building erupted in glorious cheers, the unabashed euphoria grabbing hold of everyone in attendance as the chorus hit peak nirvana as the crowd dished out massive "do do do do dos" that echoed for what felt like eternity. The night hit a climax during the stupendous "Close to Me," a number that had everyone clapping along and wincing to the line of "I never thought a night could ever be this close to me," a thought that instantly felt more realized than I could've ever imagined and one that will hang with me for the foreseeable future. "Why Can'r I Be You" was a punctuating anthem that blasted serious vigor as the electric keys banged out triumphant brass components that kept everyone on their feet and served as a phenomenal transition to the floating "In Between Days" which acted as a transformative number that carried on with the most effortless feelings before the night wrapped up with two epic songs. "Just Like Heaven" superseded all expectations as the emotions hit the rafters, the sheer level of elation creeping into unknown territories as the love poured out from all those witnessing greatness. To hear a song with such emotional power can be a life affirming experience, but to see one of the greatest songs of a decade and therefore, subsequently all-time, performed live can be life-altering in the best way and "Just Like Heaven" is one of those songs that exists in a plane all of its own and ranks as one of the best versions of live music. The fact that they can follow it up with the post-punk banger "Boys Don't Cry" only goes to show just how legendary and influential a band can be and few can embody superpowers quite like The Cure. Since the late-'70's they've been captivating minds and ears of those who've felt a bit outside the norm, but for three sold-out nights at MSG, they're redefining what popularity can entail and what it means to be an act for the ages. For forty years they've been proving their point as one of the all-time greats and once again, they're here to show that they have no plans of stepping down.

01 "Alone"
02 "Pictures of You"
03 "A Fragile Thing"
04 "A Night Like This"
05 "Lovesong"
06 "And Nothing Is Forever"
07 "Like Cockatoos"
08 "Burn"
09 "If Only Tonight We Could Sleep"
10 "Charlotte Sometimes"
11 "Push"
12 "39"
13 "Fascination Street"
14 "From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea"
15 "Endsong"
16 "I Can Never Say Goodbye"
17 "Want"
18 "Shake Dog Shake"
19 "One Hundred Years"
20 "A Forest"
21 "Lullaby"
22 "The Walk"
23 "Friday I'm in Love"
24 "Doing the Unstuck"
25 "Close to Me"
26 "Why Can't I Be You?"
27 "In Between Days"
28 "Just Like Heaven"
29 "Boys Don't Cry"

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