A couple of days ago I went to Stuttgart to see The Cure who are currently touring in Europe. After a longer break, they decided to go back on the road, not with a new album, but with a mix of their hits, favourites, rarities and maybe almost forgotten songs.
Founded in 1976 as ‘Malice’ and renamed into ‘The Cure’ in 1978, the British band from Crawley is famous for its belongingness to genres such as new wave, dark wave and gothic rock. In their early years, the members were Robert Smith (Guitar, Vocals), Michael Dempsey (Bass), Laurence Tolhurst (Drums) and Paul Thomson (Guitar, Keyboard). However, with the years the members changed and the most recent ones are Robert Smith, Simon Gallup (Bass, Keyboard), Reeves Gabrels (Guitar), Roger O’Donnell (Keys) and Jason Cooper (Drums). Within their career of now 38 years The Cure has released 13 albums which are ‘Three Imaginary Boys’ (1979), ‘Seventeen Seconds’ (1980), ‘Faith’ (1981), ‘Pornography’ (1982), ‘The Top’ (1984), ‘The Head on the Door’ (1985), ‘Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me’ (1987), ‘Disintegration’ (1989), ‘Wish’ (1992), ‘Wild Mood Swings’ (1996), ‘Bloodflowers’ (2000), ‘The Cure’ (2004) and ‘4:13 Dream’ 2008. With this amount of songs from different genre phases, it was not a surprise that the concert last over two hours and the set list changes with every concert a little bit so they can go through nearly most of their songs.
One of the round 30 concerts in 17 European countries was the concert in Stuttgart, which took place in the Schleyerhalle and lasted for around 2 hours and 45 minutes – the longest concert I have ever been to so far. The time did not include the supporting act at the beginning! The band was extremely motivated and performed a great show. They played songs for fans of all the different genres and worked their way towards the classics in the end. Even though Robert Smith apologised for him being sick and not able to use his full vocal range, I would not have noticed that without him telling! They all were extremely motivated and everyone could hear, see and feel how much they enjoyed being on stage. I also liked that they had a connection with their fans and animated them successfully to dance, clap or sing along as soon as they entered the stage. Overall, the average age was between 35 years and 55 years, I would say, which would fit with the age group that grew up with their music. Hence, the people standing right in front of the stage were standing and moving but the people in the seating area remained seating which was very strange in my eyes. For me the seating area does not say ‘you have to remain seated’ – no! It is an area where people have more space around them and won’t be squeezed or pushed that much. Maybe that’s a German thing… I had that with another concert in Germany as well and was hugely surprised 😀 However, the venue was told to be sold out. According to the Stuttgarter Zeitung, this meant that around 12,000 people have attended the concert.
Supporting act was the Scottish Post-Rock band ‘The Twilight Sad’ who consist of James Graham (vocals), Andy MacFarlane (guitar, accordion) and Mark Devine (drums). They were founded in 2003 nearby Glasgow and released their debut album ‘Fourteen Autumns and Fifteen Winters’ in 2007 via FatCat Records. Further albums are ‘Forget The Night Ahead’ (2009), ‘No One Can Ever Know’ (2012) and ‘Nobody Wants to Be Here & Nobody Wants to Go Home’ (2014), all released via FatCat Records. The musical style was quite dark, deep and created a spooky-magical atmosphere and created the vibes for the upcoming main act. The crowd was banned by their music and animated to sing along.
The acoustic at the venue was really good. Everything sounded clear and the different instruments could be recognised by listening more closely, which I think is very important. With their experience, they obviously knew what they were doing. Furthermore, the light show was great. It suited the deep and dark atmosphere perfectly and underlined the vibes of the songs. The venue was opened in 1983 and is mainly used for concerts or sports events. Until 2006 the arena was rebuilt and modernised which increased the number of possible seats or standing places.
The concert was really great and I could feel the passion, vigour and energy all the bands had performing their songs. It was a great experience and a special time for me seeing one of the bands I seemed to really like as a very little child – as I always pulled their CD’s out of the shelves 😀