I have fond memories of The Cure.
It was basically the band I almost exclusively listened to during my entire high school years, the band that got me through breakups and bad grades, the band that taught me how to be self-deprecating and hate myself for it.
From time to time, I scroll through my iPod and find one of my favorite Cure songs — maybe “Close To Me” or “Fascination Street” — and it takes me back to that time in my life when my biggest worry was deciding what to wear the next day.
So when local concert promoter BAMP Project announced it was bringing in the veteran British band that provided the soundtrack to my teen years to Hawaii for the first time every, I didn’t even flinch.
Oh, I was going. And there was nothing stopping me. Not even a very important meeting scheduled for that afternoon.
The concert was tonight at the Blaisdell Arena. It wasn’t a sold-out show, though it sure seemed like it. We had secured seats in the upper deck, right in front of the stage, and without anyone in front of us. It was perfect.
I will say, though, I wasn’t sure about going to a concert. The last one I had been to was before iPhones and Bravo’s “Housewives” series. I mean, it’s been awhile.
The idea of leaving my house at 7 p.m. and planning to stay out until almost midnight — and fighting traffic and looking for parking — was a bit daunting for someone who gets up at 4 a.m. almost every morning.
Still, it was The Cure. It was Robert Smith. I had to go.
And I will say, I have no regrets.
Sure, I felt all of 38 — and I may have been on the younger end of the age spectrum at the concert. (After all, The Cure formed in 1976, the year after I was born.) And yes, the music wasn’t toe-tapping or dance-worthy. (The Cure was EMO before EMO.) But it was The Cure, the most influential band of my life, the reason I used to write poetry and play guitar.
I felt old, but I still stood up and sang along to every song I knew. (I’ll be honest, there were a bunch I had never heard before.) And I screamed out every chance I got. I felt like a teenager again.
I’m not sure where this concert ranks in the shows and live performances I’ve been to over the years. It’s hard to top Jane’s Addiction’s last show at Aloha Tower or the intimate concert by Nirvana at Pink’s Garage. And I can’t forget the first concert I took my kid sister and her friends to, the Aquabats at World Cafe; we got to sing with the band on stage.
But seeing The Cure live, hearing the songs that hurt my heart and wrestled with my emotions, was something almost surreal. (That was only made more so when the band played “Plainsong,” easily my all-time favorite, for the hana hou.)
I was 17 all over again. At least for the night.
Great, reflective post. It was worth going to during the week, and watching them rock until near midnight. As a father of two, like you it was a journey back to my youth listening to KROQ in L.A. I was surprised to see that my kids were still up when I got home. Who knows if they will ever be back; this was not something to be missed. Depeche Mode anyone?
OMG Cat, for Christmas I think I am going to buy you a walker. 38 is NOT OLD. You need an attitude adjustment. You got 50 more years before you should be allowed to think of yourself as old. Shame on you. STOP IT ALREADY. Look in the mirror and repeat after me, ‘I got it going on.’ LOL. ‘I am NOT old.’
I didn’t listen to the cure back in the day and i doubt I can name or identify one of their songs, but they were popular. looking at fb last night, more than one of my fb friend classmates posted pics from the concert. then, on twitter, daniel dae kim and a couple of others posted pics. now you. given that sample, you are at the lower boundry, age-wise, but not an outlier at all.
38 isn’t old, especially for the lifestyle you lead. I think i’m a few decades older than you, effectively, even though I’m only, a few years older, physically. if they resurrected mozart and had him play a show, then handed me tickets, I think I’d sell them and catch the show on youtube. I can’t handle anymore
i was listening to THE CURE then too. but i was the age you are now and lived in AUSTIN where music never ages. punk and new wave and metal and folk and country and jazz and bluegrass and whatever else came along found a home in Austin Tx. one night Talking Heads and Blondie at the Armadillo, next night Willie Nelson and Leon Russell at the Texas Opry house, across town, Joy Division or Joe Jackson. out of that fertile ground grew SXSW. lovers come and go but we never lose the music we love
Nothing wrong with feeling young and having fun! You are as young as you want to be and 38 is not old!
CAT: Live concerts, for me, are best when it deals with symphonic music. Everyone is civil and quiet listening to the quality of the music. Rock concerts are extra loud, with a lot of yelling and screaming to the point you can’t enjoy the music. But, people do go to enjoy the experience and re-live their youth. The last concert I went to recently was Chicago. A couple of drunks behind us (guys, mind you), yelled all night. They are such a great band that we couldn’t enjoy their music. Went to the Republik for a concert and it was so loud and we had to stand made the experience less than fun. Now, you know what old folks think about concerts…!! Do-Wop and other older groups are what old folks go to! All they do is sing along or dance…at least you can enjoy the performance. The audience should never compete with the performers.
You know what they say:
If it’s too loud then your’e too old.
Hey Cat … I guess you’re never too old for anything … if you wanna do it … why not??? …
… but man, I know what you’re saying … last year I went to a few clubs in downtown … and I felt ridiculously out of place … my friend and I look young for our age … but I just wasn’t into that scene anymore …
… and the last concert I went to??? … Pearl Jam … damn!!! …
Hi Cat – PLEASE 🙂 Old for what? The Cure is timeless. Dave said he saw you last night as we were walking the lobby. We are 50 & 46 years old. This IS our generation. The Cure was rocking in ’83 when I first saw them in high school in San Diego. And as long as these guys, and other musicians of our generation can still get up on that stage to a sell -out crowd, we’ll be there rocking out along with them. Hugs, Michelle & Dave Miyamoto ~
The best concert I ever went to was Peter Frampton (warm up band) and Rod Stewart. The second best was Jeff Beck. The loudest concert was Rick Derringer and Aerosmith at 130 decibels. If your ears don’t ring for the rest of the night you have not been to a rock concert. Of course the concerts were between $5.50 and $7.50 (I have the concert posters to prove it) and was held at the HIC which was the name before the NBC.
Now I feel old.
Hi Cat! The Cure? Never heard of them. My live concert was Elvis in Hawaii- 1973. Now, that’s music. I even tried to run away from home in 1969 heading for New York and the greatest concert of them all- Woodstock. Love and flowers in your hair! I never made it to the airport. Mom and Dad tore my ticket up. I haven’t been the same since. Oh, by the way, I have a walker which I will not be using in about 5 years. I’ll save it for you. PEACE!
linked here by a mate’s farcebook post.
great blog post. the Cure rocks. great to see some original musicians still pumping their sounds, oh yeah, 38, you’re just about to hit your prime (and again at 40, 45 i hope and again later i’m also hoping)
nothing like the Cure. reminds me of the emotions, and sounds i was listening to when i was hopelessly chasing girls, failing, feeling down, feeling up, and then later, just loving the sounds of their music
hope they come to Oz
Wow, flashback city! I was at the shows that you mentioned too. Everyone asks me about how Nirvana was, but I actually didn’t know who they were and went with my friends. I remember thinking that it was a cool name for a band and as you know, that show is in my top 5 as well. I think going to concerts are great because you are there seeing them in person and in the moment. I always regret missing a show. I missed Tool when they came here the last time and I am still sick about it. Didn’t miss The Cure though. What a great show. They played so many songs. I would have been depressed for a month if I missed this one.