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June 14th, 2000, 8 P.M. 

the cure live at the tweeter center in Mansfield, MA


erik, stef, mike and I rolled to the concert in erik's car, listening to weezer and the b-boys, beneath lightbulbed cloud formations. we followed the gestures of the discontent and underpaid chicks in the orange vests, and parked way deep in the never ending lot. they weren't patting down at the door so i cursed myself for not bringing my camera. the 3.00 hot dog i bought sucked. the 3.00 soda wasn't big enough, and i drank it quickly.

it was still bright out at 7:15, so i amused myself observing the crowd. nice mix of people for a twenty-year old band: goth chicks with dark eyes wearing prom dresses, alt rock kids, abercrombie kids, old disheveled couples, teenage lovebirds, parents, army-pants-and black-NIN-or-ZERO--shirt-wearing types, and plenty of middle of the road music fans like us wearing nothing special. also, it should be noted that everyone was totally white bread. and the thing that blew my mind as we searched for out pavilion seats was that the loudseakers were blasting the latest album from tortoise. sweet, i thought. we had pretty lousy seats, so we moved up a few rows to a section that was empty. so did everyone else.

robert and the band came out, and they opened big with Out of This World, the first track from their latest album Bloodflowers. they then proceeded to play for a solid three hours. they rocked. the lights looked great, and dreamy images floated across the giant screen behind the band, replaced sometimes by live video close ups of robert of a shot of the audience

for the main body of the show they played stuff that real fans could get into; the tracks with long intros that build and explode, driven by dark emotional power. these included The Loudest Sound, Watching Me Fall, and 39 from the recent album. they also played Want, Cut, From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea, Fascination Street, and a few really old tracks from the Faith and Pornography days--you know, the songs that were so depressing you never bother to even look at the liner notes. But you still loved them. They mixed Jupiter Crash, Maybe Someday and In Between Days into the main body of the show, for variety, and it all sounded good. Drums, bass, keys, everything. As always, no one could understand what the hell he was saying in between songs.

the big surprise for me was The Kiss. I had no idea that Robert Smith was capable of playing so hard. His guitar solo on that song was so fresh that my jaw dropped open. he wailed on that thing for a while. that kind of  energy was full tilt for the entire show. they finished up with Bloodflowers, as I imagined they would. 

Bloodflowers, as an album, is obsessed from start to finish with endings. the concert felt like a farewell in many ways, but one confident that the music itself has meaning and passion enough to continue on its own after there's no more band to play it live. it was a consuming performace, and I kept thinking about my high school days listening to The Cure, and about the current events and questions in my life that are captured in the songs, musically and lyrically. i love when good music brings pure moments of clarity through beauty.

they changed the mood up during the THREE SETS of encores, playing a few sad classics like Lovesong, Forest, and M, along with plenty of other crowd-pleasing booty-movers like Boys Don't Cry, Killing an Arab, Just Like Heaven, and 10:15 on a Saturday Night. When the last encore was over, he stood, arms twisted, sheepishly looking out at the audience like he wanted to say something but was too modest. it felt like he knew he'd never see us again but he didn't know how to feel about it. he stood while we clapped, and then he waddled away, modesty showing through his black shirt and pants.

mike and i rode on the back of erik's car for a while. somehow, we got out of the parking lot in just a few minutes. we were home by 12.