Hollywood Bowl

Live Show Review: The Cure at the Hollywood Bowl

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When you go to see a “big” band there are lots of expectations. You hope they will play for a long time, sound good and of course play the songs you want to hear. When it was announced last year that The Cure would be touring, I told my wife we need to go and that they are one of those bands you should see before they or you die. So naturally she agreed and we got tickets. After many months of waiting, the day arrived for us to go to the show. Armed with the criteria mentioned above, The Cure didn’t disappoint at all. We got to see the third and final night of their stay at the Hollywood Bowl and boy was it a show.

Taking the stage a couple minutes after 8pm and continuing on till a little after 11pm, The Cure played through 33 songs spanning their entire career in three hours. Lucky for us, my wife and I happen to be big fans of the albums Disintegration and Bloodflowers, and this evening they played a large chunk of songs from those albums. Songs like “Lullaby,” “Pictures Of You,” “Closedown,” and my all time favorite “Fascination Street” were played from Disintegration. And from Bloodflowers “39,” “Watching Me Fall,” “The Last Day Of Summer,” “Out Of This World,” and the title track. Those songs from those albums alone made this one hell of a spectacular night. Other highlights include “A Night Like This,” “In Between Days” “Just Like Heaven,” “Friday I’m In Love,” “Us Or Them,” “Want” “Burn (another one of my all time favorite songs by The Cure),” and not one, not two but three encores.

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Robert Smith sounded amazing and was hitting every note beautifully. I had chills up and down my arms and spine during certain moments when he would sing. Robert was even joking around with the audience and dancing around a bit, really enjoying the night. Bassist Simon Gallup was extremely into playing. His tone alone is legendary. He’s got a presence that really invokes the spirit of the band. On drums Jason Cooper played with great prowess and precision. As did guitarist Reeves Gabrels and keyboardist Roget O’Donnell.

This is the second time I’ve seen The Cure, and it was truly magical. There is something to be said for a band that is 40 years into their career and can pull off a show like this. The crowd was beyond into it. You could tell who were real fans that knew the deep cuts and rarities. And of course there were those who just knew the hits. But it all made for a night of great music and memories.

Setlist:

1. Out Of This World

2. Watching Me Fall

3. Pictures Of You

4. Closedown

5. A Night Like This

6. Push

7. In Between Days

8. Doing The Unstuck

9. Lullaby

10. Fascination Street

11. (I Don’t Know What’s Going) On

12. The Walk

13. Lovesong

14. Just Like Heaven

15. The Last Day Of Summer

16. Want

17. 39

18. Bloodflowers

Encore 1:

19. It Can Never Be The Same

20. Shake Dog Shake

21. Burn

22. A Forest

Encore 2:

23. Step Into The Light

24. Us Or Them

25. Never Enough

26. Wrong Number

Encore 3:

27. The Perfect Girl

28. Hot Hot Hot!!!

29. Friday I’m In Love

30. Freakshow

31. Close To Me

32. Why Can’t I Be You?

33. Boys Don’t Cry

By: Brian Lacy

Photos: Alisa Lacy

Live Review: Nine Inch Nails at the Hollywood Bowl

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Plain and simple, Nine Inch Nails live, is a beast. Whether it is on their albums or live show, they are very hard to top. Last night I had the pleasure of attending what is now my thirteenth Nine Inch Nails show. And they did not disappoint me. Watching Trent Reznor and his band on stage is hypnotizing. More on Nine Inch Nails in a moment.

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Starting off the show was Cold Cave. Fronted by Wesley Eisold, former vocalist of the hardcore group Give Up The Ghost (originally named American Nightmare). Their music is as though Joy Division and Disintegration era The Cure had a child. Its mix of new wave and synth pop is infectious, and the perfect type of group to open the show. Though their set was only 25 minutes, they brought a ton of energy and personality. They are one band I’d really enjoy seeing at a small club.

Next up was Soundgarden. I’ve been waiting years to see them live. Maybe my expectations were too high, but Soundgarden was boring and had no energy. Their set list was a short hodgepodge of songs from Louder Than Love, Bad Motor Finger, Superunknown and their latest (and hugely disappointing) King Animal. The only person on stage that had any energy or passion in their playing was Matt Chamberlain (Matt Cameron is too busy with Pearl Jam). The highlight of their set was when they played “Fell On Black Days,” but even that lacked anything. Chris Cornell seems like he can’t sing anymore. Musically the band still rocks, but they are boring as hell. Kim Thayill looked like a statue all night. Ben Sheppard had some moves but you could tell he was winded by the 5th song. It’s a real shame, because they were once so good. Now they are barely a shell of what they once were.

The main event of the night of course was Nine Inch Nails. Their stage set up and visuals were stunning. Though only having about an hour and a half, the set list blazed through much of their classics as well as some new gems. When Trent came out on stage alone kicking things off with “Copy of A” from Hesitation Marks, the roar of the crowd was astonishing. Joining him on stage were Robin Finck (guitar), Ilan Rubin (drums) and Alessandro Cortini (synths). The light walls that backed the band for the first few songs really draw in the attention of the crowd. By the fifth song “March Of The Pigs” everyone in attendance was on their feet and singing along in unison. The sea of hands and fists in the air was awesome. There are certain Nine Inch Nails songs that really get me beyond excited, so when they played “Gave Up,” “Eraser,” “Terrible Lie,” “Wish” and “The Great Destroyer,” I could feel my vocal cords hating me from singing so loud. Though their set was only an hour and a half, they were unrelenting and made sure that everyone in the crowd got their moneys worth.

Even with Soundgarden being a bummer, it was a great night. the combination of Nine Inch Nails, my fiance and a couple great friends made this a memorable show. Trent and company never let you down. If you have never seen Nine Inch Nails live, I suggest you pony up some bucks and see them. You won’t regret the money you spent.

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Nine Inch Nails Setlist:

1. Copy Of A
2. Sanctified
3. Came Back Haunted
4. 1,000,000
5. March Of The Pigs
6. Piggy
7. Terrible Lie
8. Closer
9. Gave Up
10. Disappointed
11. Find My Way
12. The Great Destoyer
13. Eraser
14. Wish
15. The Hand That Feeds
16. Head Like A Hole

Encore:
17. Hurt

Soundgarden Setlist:

1. Searching With My Good Eye Closed
2. Spoonman
3. Gun
4. Outshined
5. Jesus Christ Pose
6. The Day I Tried To Live
7. My Wave
8. Fell On Black Days
9. A Thousand Days Before
10. Rusty Cage
11. Black Hole Sun
12. Beyond The Wheel

 

Photos by: Alisa Diaz and her phone

 

By: Brian Lacy