When I was 16, I learned about falling deeply, passionately, and absolutely in love- with a band. This band, of course, was The Cure. I’ve seen them a couple of times before (well, every time they’ve been to Denver since I turned 18), but this is few and far between. The last time they came through was a show at Red Rocks in 2008. They played for just under three hours and it was one of those shows that ruins other shows for me with lofty, extravagant levels that only a band that I’ve loved for ten years could deliver. Since then, I’ve only seen the band on festival lineups like Coachella and Lollapalooza that I will never attend (for a myriad of reasons, but proximity being a big one). Then the lineup for Riot Fest 2014 was announced. I remember getting the email and flipping out, texting anyone who was a recent contact in my phone (sorry!): The Cure were headlining. Right here in Denver.
In all honesty, I hadn’t listened to The Cure in some time. Over the last six years, I’d spent a good amount of time going to tiny, DIY-style shows and had really lost the drive to connect with something that didn’t take place in a dive bar or a living room. As a result, these were the bands I was listening to. I had grown up and away from the band I’d worshipped for so many years.
None of this meant I would pass up seeing The Cure again, though.
When the day finally came, I got in place early to be assured a good spot, slowly progressing to the front of the stage, eventually making it all the way to third row center. I jumped up and down and screamed like a little girl when the band took the stage. I was so goddamn excited, I couldn’t muster any other reaction. The world fell away and there was only Robert Smith singing these songs that had been such a huge part of my life. As the set went on, memories came flooding in- from the fire and the heartache of being a teenager to attending the last show with my (now ex) husband. All the nights I spent alone, listening to this band had felt like a lifetime ago just the day before, but I knew every word, every moment of the songs better than I knew my favorite albums from the last year or two. The Cure were so deeply permeated into my heart and mind that it’s like those lyrics are a part of me- a memory of my own. From ridiculously fun tracks (“Wrong Number”) to ridiculously painful tracks (“From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea”), I sang and danced through the two and a half hour set. My voice was gone and I’d utterly wrecked my left foot for the rest of the weekend. This gig had destroyed me mentally and physically, but holy cow, it was something I needed in my life.
I really couldn’t have asked for anything more from this show. It still feels like it all might have been a dream, but either way, I’m listening to The Cure again today.