Festivals, Video — June 1, 2014 at 10:58 am

Watch: BottleRock Festival pulls the plug on The Cure during ‘Why Can’t I Be You?’

The Cure circa 2013

It’s well-documented that The Cure likes to play long, even in festival settings. Friday night, the band headlined the BottleRock Festival in Napa Valley, Calif., where they were given a two-and-a-half hour time slot… which apparently wasn’t enough.

As Robert Smith and Co. launched into their 34th song of the night, “Why Can’t I Be You?,” festival organizers cut the power — as you can see below (via Chain of Flowers). This, of course, is not the first time that’s happened to The Cure at a major festival.


Video: The Cure, “Why Can’t I Be You?” @ BottleRock Festival, 5/30/14


Setlist: The Cure, BottleRock Festival, Napa Valley, Calif., 5/30/14

1. “Shake Dog Shake”
2. “Fascination Street”
3. “alt.end”
4. “The End of the World”
5. “Lovesong”
6. “Sleep When I’m Dead”
7. “Push”
8. “Inbetween Days”
9. “Just Like Heaven”
10. “Catch”
11. “Before Three”
12. “From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea”
13. “Pictures of You”
14. “Lullaby”
15. “High”
16. “Never Enough”
17. “Wrong Number”
18. “The Caterpillar”
19. “The Walk”
20. “Mint Car”
21. “Friday I’m In Love”
22. “Doing the Unstuck”
23. “Bananafishbones”
24. “Want”
25. “The Hungry Ghost”
26. “One Hundred Years”
27. “Give Me It”

28. “A Forest”

29. “The Lovecats”
30. “Hot Hot Hot”
31. “Let’s Go To Bed”
32. “Freakshow”
33. “Close To Me”
34. “Why Can’t I Be You?” (cut off)






  1. That is one HUGE cheer of relief… thank god we’re not getting another 3 hour mmarathon

    • Were you at the festival? If not, then why are you concerned about it?

    • When I saw them they did the ENTIRE first album as an encore. It was amazing! If people get tired they can just leave. I say play as long as they want, especially if they’re the headliner. Those festivals cost so much man, at least you can get your moneys worth!

    • I realize this is the internet, and if you’re not hating on something, you don’t exist, but seriously: WTF. A band gives the fans more than they paid for, so they should be sneered at? No doubt you would have gone home happy after an early JMC show, where they played for 20 minutes with their backs to the crowd and then left.

    • go away

  2. Speak for yourself. They can keep playing as far as I’m concerned. They still smoke most of the bands on the bill with them.

  3. I would stand there and listen to them until i passed out

  4. I can’t EVER imagine complaining about a bad I love playing too long at a live show. That defies all logic.

  5. Glory2Babalon

    Robert Smith is a machine!

  6. I’m definitely filing this under WTF.

    My biggest complaint about most any fucking concert to which I’ve been to in my life is that they are too short. An artist/band with many albums should be required to play or at least two hours.

    I applaud The Cure for this sort of selfless giving to their fans. More bands could take a huge hint from them.

  7. concertkid

    Better quality video:


  8. dkensinger

    Hats off to Robert Smith & The Cure.

  9. The festival is in downtown Napa. Lot’s of people live in downtown Napa. The arrangement with the city to hold the festival includes following a noise curfew. Thus, if the festival is to continue, the organizers need to follow the rules. Pretty simple really.

  10. Peter Charbonneau

    I love it. I think the Cure have settled into a nice rhythm that worked for them. We probably won’t see another album-supported tour, but they keep hitting a variety of festivals and giving their all for 3+ hours.

    I think it’s a great love letter to the fans and will continue to cement their legacy as a band.

  11. I love the way Robert is pacing the stage after the unplugging, he wants more!

  12. The Cure are pretty good band but it seems lots of their fans lack any critical faculties or perspective when it comes to them. Hundreds of bands could do 3 hour concerts but they choose not to because they realise it would be tedious and impossible to sustain artistically. It speaks more about Robert Smith’s lack of belief in his music that he can’t differentiate the good from the mediocre. He throws it all out there to see what sticks. Even if Elvis came back and sang with the Beatles it would be boring after 3 hours.

    • “He throws it all out there to see what sticks”

      Qué forma tan simple de juzgar a Robert Smith. Con seguridad, cálculos tan burdos y pobres no pasan por su cabeza.

  13. I think that’s great – rock on Cure!
    There’s a lot of bands that are far younger hanging it up after 90 minutes. in well over 40 years of concert going, I could probably count on one hand bands that have gone much over 2 1/2 hours. Too bad they weren’t on earlier – they could have played until they dropped. They love to play, and the audience loves to hear them. Match made in heaven.

  14. Delta-Mode

    I respect the Cure and I respect Cure fans but you guys can be a bit much, if someone dares to question your precious band you feel the need to hop all over them. The fact is, the Cure do play for too long, its ridiculous. I saw them live in London in 2006 and 2008 and both gigs were an endurance test, one song blurred into another like one giant dirge for three hours, after all these years, Smith still has no idea how to build up a show. The Guardian ran a review of their recent Royal Albert Hall show stating exactly that and Smith reacted like a child throwing his toys out of the pram on social media. He must be one of the very few, possibly only artist to ever respond to a critic so publicly, I thought it was laughable. If he really took as much pride in what he does as he often says then surely he’d ignore the critics.
    Anyway, I know your all going to jump down my throat now but this is a public forum, we can say what we like as long as its respectful and I think I have been. The Cure are great, one of the most brilliant bands of all time, but what they’ve become just isn’t for me anymore.

    • D-M: Your views are reasonable and well measured, and the idea of show “pacing” isn’t often discussed. Good stuff.

      That said: a crowd can always vote with its feet. If half the fans get bored and leave at the 2-hour mark or whatever, the band would probably take the hint for future performances. If, on the other hand, large crowds continue to stick around through marathon shows, the hall is as full at the end as at the beginning, that’s a pretty good endorsement for the band’s approach.

      Let’s also keep in mind that in the Cure’s case, their appearance in a particular city is a pretty rare occurrence for the local populace. It’s an event. If you’re a fan in Sao Paolo or wherever, and the band hasn’t played there in a decade and isn’t likely to again anytime soon, you’re probably grateful for the extra effort.

      It’s easy to sit here and look at their shows in the aggregate and say, “there they go playing 40 songs again.” But if it’s YOUR rare chance to hear those 40 songs live, your perspective may be rather different.

      And finally: I’m guessing you don’t go to a lot of Major League Baseball games. Three hours is nothing. 8-)

  15. I love The Cure. They are in my top 5 bands of all time. No contest. I name them up there with R.E.M., The Beatles and Rolling Stones.

    However, I will be the first to admit, sometimes a band is trying to impress by going on and on and on but, sometimes, it just gets…dull. I saw the 10,000 Maniacs in 1992 and they did the same thing. “How’s about another song?”… “We aren’t done yet….” “Let’s do one more….” “We are allowed one more song, let’s do one more song…” “Hey, they just said “one more song”…” and it started to drag on so long that even the biggest fans in the audience started to leave. I hear Bruce Springsteen plays three hour marathons too. It’s sounds like a snore unless you are heavily into Bruce Springsteen.

    You want to leave them begging for more, not “Is it over yet?”

    I am going to see the Cure this year at Riot Fest here in Chicago. I’ve read nothing but “They better get 3 full hours!!” online. I can honestly say I am okay with a standard setlist and encore. I really do not need every song blending into the next song to fit 357 songs into a three hour set…

  16. Christopher F.

    It sounds like you all are ignoring the logistics involved. “Yayyyyy, more music! Rock on!”. What about all the workers who are working to bring you this concert? Hey lighting guy, I know we told you it was going to be done by 12, but now can you stay an extra 2 hours? The band are really into it tonight! The parking lot attendants and people who pick up the trash and whoever else needed to go home to their families, but, hey, the band’s going to do their entire first album as an encore. I would love to hear more music too, but not at the expense of everyone involved.

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