Last Night in Cleveland: The Cure

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In alt-rock, one thing is certain: you can’t count out that bloke in the Ruby Woo MAC lipstick and frightwig ‘do. Robert Smith has led The Cure – arguably one of the greatest alt-rock acts of all time – over the course of 30 years and a dozen studio albums. His band’s induction into the Rock Hall is inevitable, even if the supporting cast playing behind the long bum-rapped Gloomy Gus hasn’t been. No matter. Smith and his current Cure lineup – Porl Thompson (guitars), Simon Gallup (bass) and Jason Cooper (drums) – proved themselves serviceable last night at Cleveland State’s Wolstein Center. They managed to cater to the tastes of hardcore Cure fans and the Come-Latelys, and without the alienating, “backward-looking” greatest-hits show that artists seem to lean on once they hit 40. ... Wednesday was a sturdy night of rock, one reminiscent of the band’s 1996 gig at the then-Gund Arena for Wild Mood Swings: fairly well-executed, with weighty moments and some three-minute pop mastery. It was even a tad bit lively at times, not the band’s hallmark. Highlights of the show included new tunes “Sleep When I’m Dead,” “The Perfect Boy,” and “From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea.” And if you came to Wolstein to hear note-perfect renditions of “Killing an Arab,” “One Hundred Years,” “Boys Don’t Cry,” “Fascination Street “Lovesong,” and “10:15 Saturday Night,” well, you were in good shape, too. No one disputes that Smith is the Cure and King of the Goths. And frankly, it's difficult to say if anything in alternative rock would even exist if it wasn’t for the brooding Smith and his eyeliner. No one disputes the King’s temperamental songwriting dexterity or ardent fanbase, either. But to this reviewer, Smith seemed largely blasé about the whole affair last night. I can’t help but wonder if it’s because he has nothing more to prove. – Peter Chakerian

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