As a concert photographer, one can’t help but have a bucket list of bands you want to shoot. It may be a band you really love or one you know that might not be around for much longer.
For me, I was lucky enough to shoot Rush, just before their retirement and Peter Murphy (known for being camera shy over the years). As a product of the 80s, it’s a bit odd that I managed to miss out on getting into the Cure. Not really liking to admit it, but when I first heard “Lovesong,” I wasn’t all that impressed. “Fascination Street” also rubbed me the wrong way too for some reason.
It wasn’t until Wish came out in 1992, that I truly started to get into the Cure. I went back and collected all their material to that point as well as several bootlegs along the way. Funny enough, Disintegration, the album of which the two songs I wasn’t too fascinated about has become one of my favorite albums of all time, if not my favorite. So when I heard that Robert Smith and company would be coming back to New Orleans, I was overjoyed.
As fate would have, I managed to get credentials to shoot the second show. This could well be the last time the Cure comes to New Orleans, so I didn’t mind paying for the show, especially since the supply and demand for tickets managed to hit the scalpers in the pocketbook, and I was able to get a floor ticket at a decent price.
Over the next 2 nights, the Cure played 57 songs, only repeating six, two of which were brand new songs that debuted on night one. Another, “Burn,” made its live debut at Voodoo Fest when they played last. In true Cure fashion, the main sets were packed with greatness. Night one was more of an imbedded Cure fan set while night two highlighted the musical genius of Disintegration.
Over the two nights the band played nine encores total. While a few of the encores were just one song, those songs took on the form of highlight pieces, which is not a surprise. Over the years, Robert has taken pride in his encores and crafted them in a way that is both fun for him and the audience, as well as thematic to some degree. On night two, he boasted that he really didn’t know what to think about playing “The Same Deep Waters as You” as an encore, but we’d figure it out in eight minutes or so. The brooding gloominess of the track was a solid anchor to night two’s encore run. At the end of their two night stint at UNO’s Kiefer Stadium, Robert couldn’t help coming back out after playing the second of his newest songs, “It Can Never Be the Same;” and “Boys Don’t Cry.”
After the set Robert teased they would be back again, which would be amazing, but I can truly say that the two nights of shows and the ability to shoot the second, went way beyond what I imagined. To see what I saw, you can check out the extended gallery here: http://jalbum.net/a/1721411