Festivals, Setlist, Video — September 10, 2011 at 11:50 pm

The Cure at Bestival: Roger O’Donnell rejoins band for 32-song set (photo, video, setlist)

Playing just their third show of the year, The Cure headlined the U.K.’s Bestival tonight, delivering a 32-song set filled with hits and a few lesser-aired tracks — including the first performance of “The Caterpillar” in 20 years — with a lineup that included the return of keyboardist Roger O’Donnell, who says he’s back in the band for the third time.

Tonight’s setlist is reproduced below (via Chain of Flowers), and while it’s a somewhat standard 2000s-era festival set, there were a few surprises, including “The Hungry Ghost,” an album cut from 2008’s 4.13 Dream, and only the second performance of “The Caterpillar” since the band’s 1984 tour (it last had been played during a 1991 taping of “MTV Unplugged”).

Going into tonight’s show, the band’s lineup was something of a mystery. On stage, Robert Smith was joined by bassist Simon Gallup and drummer Jason Cooper, both mainstays, plus O’Donnell, who had sat in, along with long-estranged keyboardist Lol Tolhurst, for parts of The Cure’s pair of epic “Reflections” concerts in Sydney earlier this year.

It appears, though, that O’Donnell is now fully back in the band — for the third time. In an e-mail sent to fans about 15 minutes into tonight’s show, O’Donnell writes:

Yes I am on stage playing with the band again and hopefully 15 minutes in I haven’t played any wrong notes! Robert asked me about a month ago to play Bestival and I was very happy to say yes. Playing these songs again, old friends, being up on stage with Robert, Simon and Jason who are really family to me, it is all right. Looking forward I’m sure there will lots of exciting Cure projects in the future which I am very excited to be a part of again…

As he was in Sydney, longtime guitarist Porl Thompson — who rejoined for a third stint around 2005 — did not appear with the band, meaning Smith was the only guitar player, despite the fact that some of the band’s songs traditionally have been played with as many as three guitarists. While no announcement has been made, it appears Thompson is no longer in The Cure.

Above, you can see one of the many great photos posted on the Bestival site. Below we’ve got the setlist, and we’ve begun assembling the early video that’s made its way online, including clips of “Plainsong,” “A Forest,” “Lullaby” and “Boy’s Don’t Cry” — plus the full seven-song HD broadcast on Sky Arts (again via Chain of Flowers).


Setlist: The Cure @ Bestival, Isle of Wight, UK, 9/10/11

1. “Plainsong”
2. “Open”
3. “Fascination Street”
4. “A Night Like This”
5. “The End of the World”
6. “Lovesong”
7. “Just Like Heaven”
8. “The Only One”
9. “The Walk”
10. “Push”
11. “Friday I’m In Love”
12. “Inbetween Days”
13. “Play For Today”
14. “A Forest”
15. “Primary”
16. “Shake Dog Shake”
17. “The Hungry Ghost”
18. “100 Years”
19. “End”
20. “Disintegration”

21. “Lullaby”
22. “The Lovecats”
23. “The Caterpillar”
24. “Close to Me”
25. “Hot Hot Hot!!!”
26. “Let’s Go to Bed”
27. “Why Can’t I Be You?”

28. “Boys Don’t Cry”
29. “Jumping Someone Else’s Train”
30. “Grinding Halt”
31. “10:15 Saturday Night”
32. “Killing An Arab”


The Cure, “Plainsong” @ Bestival


The Cure, “Lovesong” @ Bestival (Sky Arts HD broadcast)


The Cure, “Just Like Heaven” @ Bestival (Sky Arts HD broadcast)


The Cure, “The Only One” @ Bestival (Sky Arts HD broadcast)


The Cure, “The Walk” @ Bestival (Sky Arts HD broadcast)


The Cure, “Push” @ Bestival (Sky Arts HD broadcast)


The Cure, “Friday I’m In Love” @ Bestival (Sky Arts HD broadcast)


The Cure, “Inbetween Days” @ Bestival (Sky Arts HD broadcast)


The Cure, “A Forest” @ Bestival


The Cure, “Lullaby” @ Bestival


The Cure, “The Caterpillar”/”Close to Me”/”Hot Hot Hot!!!” @ Bestival


The Cure, “Boy’s Don’t Cry” @ Bestival


The Cure, “Killing an Arab” @ Bestival







  1. Wow, what a set list! I hope Robert comes back to Toronto sometime soon….I haven’t see a Cure show in ages.

  2. jesus. haven’t seen any recent photos of robert. poor guy looks like he’s melting.

  3. Welcome back Roger!!! Your keyboards have been sorely missed!!! (and your hair looks fantastic!!!!)

    (and thank you guys for playing material from 4:13. I may be the only Cure fan who loves the record!

  4. This is the wrong website to mock the way a 50-something man looks (even one in a fright wig and kohl)–here, we’re all melting, youngster.

  5. Talk about getting your moneys worth with that set list. Last time I saw them they did three encores. I do have to say that Smith looks more like an old Liz Taylor or the singer from Heart these days. Regardless, the years have taken nothing away from he and the band putting on a great show.

  6. Great setlist! Long live the cure

    could you explain the comment ” there were a few surprises, including “The Hungry Ghost,” an album cut from 2008′s 4.13 Dream,” ???

  7. awesome…awesome…awesome…the cure is the best…no matter, robert smith is the cutest :)

  8. The Cure are, were, and always will be AWSOME!!!

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