October 17, 2019 The Cure – 40 LIVE – CURÆTION-25 + ANNIVERSARY (DVD Review)
The last few years have been quite special for English Rock band The Cure. For one, it was announced in 2018 they would be inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the spring of 2019. Rightfully earning their place, less than a year before their induction The Cure also celebrated their 40th anniversary. So, how does one recognize such grand accomplishments? How about a one of a kind career spanning concert? Well, The Cure agree it was a good idea and now prepare to release 40 LIVE – CURÆTION-25 + ANNIVERSARY on Friday, October 18th via Eagle Rock Entertainment.
A unique collector’s item for fans, it is available in a Limited Edition Deluxe Box (2 Blu-ray+4 CD, or 2 DVD+4 CD, each with 40-page book), on Limited Edition Hardbook 2 Blu-ray or 2 DVD (each with 16 page book), and standalone digital formats. Now the question is, what exactly is the content being offered? The answer is two concerts with very different setlists and environments both located in London titled Curætion-25 From Here To There, and Anniversary 1978-2018 Live In Hyde Park London.
Forty years of life-changing hits is nothing easy to express or even remember note for note in one show, but leave it to the genius of Robert Smith to craft two shows averaging 29 songs each in a very beautifully special way. The first one, Curætion-25: From There To Here/ From Here To There starting at the beginning of their career with the title-track from their very first album, 1979’s Three Imaginary Boys. Joining Smith these days are fellow Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members Simon Gallup on bass, Jason Cooper on drums, Roger O’Donnell on keyboards, along with their newest member Reeves Gabrels on guitars.
Taking place at Royal Festival Hall in London with video backdrop to aid and off setting a psychedelic mood, The Cure recorded the event at the tenth and final day of the 25th Meltdown Festival. Moving from album to album in chronological order, they take on a second set in a more random order interspersed midway through with sneak peaks of songs from their future album which will allegedly be release later this year. Overall, they masterminded an entertaining setlist including hits “A Strange Day,” “Pictures Of You,” “Disintegration,” “If Only Tonight We Could Sleep,” “A Forest,” “One Hundred Years,” and ending in the popular mantra “Boys Don’t Cry.” Furthermore, the HD quality video in 5.1 surround sound brings you a powerful virtual experience of the performance that you can happily re-live day after day from the comfort of your home.
Moving on to the second disc, Anniversary: 1978-2018 Live In Hyde Park London taking place at the massive outdoor venue with 65,000 fans on hand. This uniquely crafted setlist includes songs written over the years by the band’s 13 total members off of their 13 studio albums ending in their first single “Killing An Arab” – a track which is still their controversial to date.
Beginning the Anniversary show with “Plainsong” off of 1989’s Disintegration, they go on to play other hits such as “High,”, “In Between Days,” “Just Like Heaven,” “Fascination Street,” “Burn,” “The Caterpillar,” “Why Can’t I Be You?,” and “10:15 Saturday Night.” The giant stage and natural setting along with large backdrop panels enhancing the story make for a picturesque night. Adding even more to the viewing experience, the lighting is exceptionally well-done and equally well-captured on video.
Robert Smith has revolutionized the sound of music through The Cure in more than one way. Whether he and The Cure likes it or not he set the path for many Goth, New Wave, as well as Alternative Rock bands to come. In fact, it is Smith’s dark, lonely, sympathetic-natured lyrics sung in happy melodies which has brought The Cure so much success over the last 40 years.
Their evolutionary history is thoroughly explored and played with conviction at these two special shows. While no release date for the rumored new The Cure album has been set yet in 2019, this 2 DVD set is highly recommended to enjoy in the meantime. For all these reasons and more Cryptic Rock gives 40 LIVE – CURÆTION-25 + ANNIVERSARY 5 out of 5 stars.