The Robert Smith-curated Meltdown festival in London wrapped up Sunday night with a headlining performance by The Cure — or, rather, CURÆTION-25, as the band was billed — that featured a there-and-back-again, two-set retrospective of the band’s 40-year career.
Opening with “Three Imaginary Boys,” Smith and Co. went on to play one song off of each of The Cure’s albums, from 1979’s Three Imaginary Boys through 2008’s 4.13 Dream (“You’ll be seeing there’s a theme,” Smith said after the band played “A Strange Day”). The first set concluded with “It Can Never Be the Same,” one of the two unreleased songs debuted on the group’s 2016 tour.
After a short break, The Cure returned and played “Step Into the Light,” the other new song, before going back in time, performing a second song off each album, in reverse-chronological order. Well, almost. The show wrapped, encore-less, with “Boys Don’t Cry” instead of a second song off Three Imaginary Boys.
Smith was joined by the current Cure lineup — Simon Gallup on bass, Reeves Gabrels on guitar, Jason Cooper on drums and Roger O’Donnell on keyboards — despite speculation that the Meltdown show might feature special guests, possibly even past bandmates like the Reflections concerts a few years ago.
Meltdown’s organizers had described tonight’s set as Smith being “joined onstage by four of his curious friends – and other, imaginary accompanists – to perform special interpretations based on a very particular selection of songs he has sung throughout the years.” (The festival presumably couldn’t bill the show as being by The Cure for contractual reasons, as the band’s huge 40th anniversary concert in London’s Hyde Park in two weeks was advertised as The Cure’s only European performance this year.)
While, in the end, there were no surprise guests, nor any special arrangements, The Cure did present a novel “there to here and back again” set, as Smith called it, that stayed largely away from the band’s hits, sprinkling in fan favorites like “At Night,” “Bananafishbones” and “Sinking” among the setlist regulars.
“Thank you very much,” Smith said when it was over, “See you in a couple weeks. Thank you.”
Below, check out the full setlist, plus stream audio of the entire show via @Snuffybear.
We’re also rounding up video and photos from the show.
Setlist: CURÆTION-25 aka The Cure, Robert Smith’s Meltdown, London, 6/24/18
1. “Three Imaginary Boys”
2. “At Night”
3. “Other Voices”
4. “A Strange Day”
6. “A Night Like This”
7. “Like Cockatoos”
8. “Pictures of You”
10. “Jupiter Crash”
12. “Us or Them”
13. “It’s Over”
14. “It Can Never Be the Same”
15. “Step Into the Light”
16. “The Hungry Ghost”
18. “Last Day of Summer”
20. “From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea”
22. “If Only Tonight We Could Sleep”
24. “Shake Dog Shake”
25. “One Hundred Years”
27. “A Forest”
28. “Boys Don’t Cry”
NOTE: Be sure to turn off the default sound muting. Click here if it won’t play on this page.
— Snuffybear (@Snuffybear) June 24, 2018
#MeltdownFest 25 curator RobertSmith and @thecure.official as CURÆTION-25 closed the festival in spectacular fashion tonight, treating a packed #RoyalFestivalHall to a 'There To Here and Back Again' journey through their song book. An amazing end to an amazing 10 days. Thank you Robert! #thecure #robertsmith #concert #Cureation25 Photos: @frankowski
Exciting. #Cure #Meltdown #Cureation pic.twitter.com/RKVXoB9z4w
— Andy Bell (@AndyBe11) June 24, 2018
#MeltdownFest 25 curator @RobertSmith and @thecure as CURÆTION-25 closed the festival in spectacular fashion tonight, treating a packed Royal Festival Hall to a 'There To Here and Back Again' journey through their song book. An amazing end to an amazing 10 days. Thank you Robert! pic.twitter.com/lWq4d3Kehf
— Meltdown 2018 (@meltdownfest) June 24, 2018
Brilliant last night of #MeltdownFest #Cureation25 @thecure. pic.twitter.com/9KexWYylO1
— Lucy Caldicott (@LucyCaldicott) June 24, 2018
More @thecure @meltdownfest two weeks until @rideox4 support them in Hyde Park…prepare the happy ‘light’ set 👍 pic.twitter.com/KlWDLuSuQ9
— Ride – The Network (@RideTheNetwork) June 24, 2018
Oh my God, @RobertSmith and @thecure never disappoint. So happy pic.twitter.com/lsEnJeNzkp
— Jane (@Applecott) June 24, 2018
@CraigatCoF @thecure #Meltdown2018 #CURAETION25 pic.twitter.com/9s3RrDlRGJ
— (ṭһєjoнnмalloy) (@john_malloy) June 24, 2018
PREVIOUSLY ON SLICING UP EYEBALLS
- Robert Smith to play Meltdown with ‘curious friends,’ says he’s working on new music
- The Cure to mark 40th anniversary with new documentary: ‘Robert himself will tell the story’
- The Cure to play giant 40th anniversary concert in London’s Hyde Park next year
- Tim Pope confirms work on ‘The Cure project,’ promises ‘bumper year for the 40th anniversary
- The absolute best of The Cure: All 225 songs ranked by Slicing Up Eyeballs’ readers
Lies! “It won’t be the Cure, that won’t be fair to people who thought Hyde Park was our only Euro show in 2018.”
It’s great to see Robert playing his Fender guitars again. It’s been a long time. I bet that he sounded far better than the last several tours. It’s also nice to see Simon with his hair grown out to the Wish-era style again, too. Pretty good setlist as well without too many singles.
Definitely agree… and couldn’t stand Simon’s ’50s greaser hipster,
plaid, sideburn, quaffed hair, bandana look… nice to see him looking like the original Simon again :)
that is great news. Those guitars he has made sound like total crap.
Robert Smith is god and the cure is a religion lets us all be gratefull that the greatest band is music history has not lost one single step……and for Robery Smiths immoryaility