Mic Check: The Cure at the Wolstein Center on Wednesday

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Who would have guessed these guys liked black?
The Cure has been getting gloomy, doomy, and occasionally happy for 30 years now. There are plenty of great records in its discography – the career-defining Pornography, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me – and plenty of crappy ones (we’ll start with 2004’s self-titled dud). Robert Smith dresses up his songs just like he makes up his face: by piling on tons of artificial colors that can make the whole package glow. Singles compilations don’t get much better than the Cure’s 1986 set, Standing on a Beach. But the Cure can also be a complex album act. For every “Boys Don’t Cry,” there’s a 7-minute plodding epic buried deep in the record. And for some reason, Smith chooses to fill his band’s marathon three-hour live shows with these cuts. They’re just as cloudy and as boring as anything the Grateful Dead has done onstage ... Still, this is one of modern-rock’s greatest bands – one that often sabotages its own legend by defying expectations. The Cure doesn’t always pull it off. But with its very best songs (“Just Like Heaven” rightfully holds a special place in the hearts of millions of fans), the band hits that place between dreamy and druggy. --Michael Gallucci The Cure plays the Wolstein Center at Cleveland State University (2000 Prospect Avenue) at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 18. Tickets range from $37.50 to $57.50, available by calling 216-241-5555. For a preview, listen to “The Lovecats” below.

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