LIVE: The Cure @ Wembley Arena, London

By Glen Bushell

When you think of The Cure a number of adjectives come to mind; iconic, legendary, and countless other are often thrown around to describe Crawley’s finest export. The difference is that when you use those words in conjunction with The Cure it rings true. They have been one of the most influential bands of the last 40 years, and their legacy only continues to grow with time.

Tonight marks the second of three sold out shows in London, with this residency at Wembley bringing their mammoth world tour to a close. With a fan base as loyal and dedicated as The Cure have, the faithful would be happy with whatever the band performed throughout their near three hour long set. However, they promised fans that their set lists for the tour would include hits, rare tracks, and deep cuts, and they did not disappoint.

As the back of the stage lights up, it is matched by the glittering decadence of ‘Plainsong’ that spills into the room. It is, as expected, perfect from the start. The glorious ‘Pictures Of You’ makes an early appearance, and then, to the surprise of many, they launch in ‘Burn’ from the sound track to The Crow, which sounds huge inside the cavernous walls of Wembley Arena. The bar is raised early.

As they continue to deliver classics from their back catalogue, including a superb run through ‘Charlotte Sometimes’, Robert Smith simply addresses the crowd every so often just to say thank you. He is a man of few words, but there’s something about the way he utters the phrase that makes you believe that he truly means it.

Yes, The Cure are synonymous with gloom and are labelled as ‘goths’, but Smith seems anything but sad. He appears in high spirits as he bellows out ‘Just Like Heaven’, with the adoring crowd singing every word right back at him. The main portion of tonight’s set is brought a close the title track from their 1989 magnum opus, ‘Disintegration’, and even its sullen mood couldn’t bring down the atmosphere in the room.

Anyone who has seen the band before knows that The Cure like an encore. In fact, they absolutely love not just one, but three encores. The first is a simple, three song run, culminating with the mesmerising ‘From The Edge Of The Deep Green Sea’, before Smith announces that the next portion is taken from their 1980 album, ‘Seventeen Seconds’. It was on this album that the darker vision of The Cure was realised, and all these years later, ‘M’ and ‘A Forest’ have aged like a fine a wine.

From here, the final encore is filled with nothing but favourites. The spine-tingling ‘Lullaby’, complete with backdrop of a spider web, bleeds into ‘The Walk’, then into a jubilant rendition of ‘Friday, I’m In Love’. As the set draws to a close, ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ and ‘Close To Me’ nearly raise the roof, with everyone in the room singing, dancing, and taking in what has been another spectacular, triumphant set from one of the most beloved bands of all time.