Friday, June 24, 2016

The Cure & The Twilight Sad @ Lakewood Amphitheater, Atlanta, GA

So night 2 of The Cure saw Erik and I leave Charlotte around 11 am to drive down to Atlanta.  This is the first time I've done this drive (this way), and I gotta say - not sure how I kept awake the whole trip.  It is dull!  We checked into the Midtown Hilton and had a rest before the nights activities.  After a quick dinner at  the Trader Vic's in the hotel, we drove the 8 miles down to Lakewood Amphitheater without the hassle of the traffic we encountered coming into Atlanta.  Not knowing the area we took a spot in a parking lot when Google Maps said we had arrived at the destination.  We were taken for $20 but later on tonight that will seem like a bargain.

Once inside we tried to see if we could get upgraded seats (which they were offering in Charlotte last night) but the show was sold out, so we went for our spot on the general admission lawn.  I didn't know that the tickets had gone on sale and this was all that was left by the time I got tickets.

We picked our spot about 3/4 of the way back, dead center, and made ourselves comfortable for the last half of the Twilight Sad.  Again I've heard nothing from this band that I particularly like, but it was good to hear how humble they were playing in a venue of this size, opening for the Cure.

The Twilight Sad Setlist
Reflection Of The Television / Last January / Drown So I Can Watch / Don't Move / It Never Was The Same / There's A Girl In The Corner / And She Would Darken The Memory

The Cure came on as the sun was still out, which felt a little weird, protecting your eyes and trying to see them as they played.  we were in the same spot and had plenty of room to move and Erik and I didn't draw in our usual freaky crowd.  Tonight's set is a lot darker (a stack more from Disintegration) and not as poppy/fun as last night's.  But it's The Cure, so you know it's all good.  It wasn't until Lovesong that it was actually dark and felt like a Cure show.  Being directly in front (as compared to the side last night) gave a whole new perspective to the entire light and visual show.  Just Like Heaven got the whole crowd dancing for the first time and sounded just great.

For me, it all kicked off from the first encore.  Shake Dog Shake was one I wanted to hear desperately and it didn't disappoint.  With the flute tied to the Robert Smith's mike stand you knew when he picked it up, Burn was next.  An underrated song from the Crow soundtrack, I'm glad I got to hear it both nights.  Then my all time favorite, A Forest, finished it off.  Not the spine tingling moment I had last night, but such a great song.

A quick break, and the still heavily clothed Smith (it's not as hot as last night but we aren't under the aluminum roof like last night) spoke of feeling like he was playing an "out of tune radiator" each time he changed guitars, before launching into Lullaby, which got the loudest reception for the night.  Fascination Street and Wrong Number were splendid follow ups.

The 3rd encore started with The Walk, which was as good as last night.  And then the lively Doing The Unstuck, before the crowd went apeshit for Friday I'm In Love.  The mood of the crowd and the band was on the up all night and you'd think after 9 songs in 3 encores that would be a great way to end it, but no, there was more to come.

The Perfect Girl was the start of the end.  This Kiss Me song is not one I was familiar with, but there was no denying the beginning of Hot Hot Hot!!!  Man, it sounded so good!  Straight into Close To Me.  It was just one iconic song after another.  Why Can't I Be You was another smashing rendition, all to be closed out with Boys Don't Cry. Last night's show was out of this world fantastic and was always going to be hard to top, but tonight's show was great for many different reasons.  13 songs out of the 31 weren't played last night.  The cooler-ish weather made it more comfortable.  And just seeing a great band in a new venue/state was exciting.  If I didn't have a family, I would have seen a ton more shows on this tour.  I will have to settle for the next time around.  I can't wait!

The Cure Setlist
Plainsong / Pictures Of You / Closedown / High / A Night Like This / Push / In Between Days / Last Dance / The End Of The World / Lovesong / Just Like Heaven / Jupiter Crash / From The Edge Of The Deep Green Sea / Want / The Hungry Ghost / Prayers For Rain / Disintegration
Encore: Shake Dog Shake / Burn / A Forest
Encore 2: Lullaby / Fascination Street / Wrong Number
Encore 3: The Walk / Doing The Unstuck / Friday I'm In Love
Encore 4: The Perfect Girl / Hot Hot Hot!!! / Close To Me / Why Can't I Be You? / Boys Don't Cry

The Crap Facts:
This is my 407th concert.
This is my 1st concert at Lakewood Amphitheater.
Lakewood Amphitheater is the 114th venue I've seen a concert in
This is my 1st concert in Atlanta.
Atlanta is the 49th city I've seen a concert in.
This is my 1st concert in Georgia.
Georgia is the 13th state I've seen a concert in.
This is my 214th concert in the USA.
This is my 2nd Twilight Sad concert.
This is my 5th Cure concert.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Cure & The Twilight Sad @ PNC Pavilion

Yay!! The Cure are touring again.  And less than 2 years since I saw them at Riot Fest in Chicago.  We had Erik and Shelley fly in from Vegas for a few days, specifically to come and see this show.  They had been to the Hollywood Bowl earlier in the tour, and were so excited again it was infectious.  Also Mike & Laura were coming too.  It was to be a awesome night.

I had read some reviews from the previous nights show at the PNC Pavilion (Weezer) and all talked about the trouble everyone had with parking and taking forever getting into the venue.  Because of this we left for the venue early and with absolutely no trouble at all we glided unstopped into the venue.  So well before The Twilight Sad started we were able to get a beer to combat the 90 degree weather.

We met Mike & Laura at our seats and saw the start of The Twilight Sad.  I liked their first song - very Ride-ish.  However, the next 2 were relatively similar, and we left in search of food.  I could hear more of the same as we bought dinner and a shirt.

Twilight Sad Setlist
Last January / Alphabet / Drown So I Can Watch / It Never Was The Same / There's A Girl In The Corner

I was, however, definitely back in my seat and ready when the Cure came out on stage and I was spellbound from the first notes of Pictures Of You.  We were about as close as what we were for Riot Fest and the band looked and sounded great.  What I can't understand is the amount of clothing the band was wearing.  It was so hot in the audience, they must have been dying up there.  I can't remember the moment he said that they decided to do only singles (or should've been singles) tonight. It could only mean one hit after another and the Cure did not let down.  Just Like Heaven got the first real big cheer for the night, but for me every song was a stand out.  In Between Days is a favorite and the back to back Lullaby / Fascination Street, but my first live Hanging Garden was unbelievable. They then finished their set with my favorite song, A Forest.  I had a "hair standing on the back of my neck" moment hearing those first chords.  It happened again in the same song as Robert Smith screamed "Again and again and again and again.....".

I was beside myself and elated.  I had not felt this good about a show since The Cure at Coachella 2009.  A new song, It Can Never Be The Same, opened the encore followed by The Crow soundtrack song, Burn, which I'd never heard live.  It was as good as you'd expect.

The second encore had the appropriately names Charlotte Sometimes, another song I was hearing for the first time.  Straight into the upbeat Primary, you'd never imagine this show could get better.  But of course it did.

Another new song, Step Into The Light, before blitzing through Never Enough, alt.end and Wrong Number.  But wait the biggest songs were yet to come.

A 5-song-4th-encore.  Unheard of before. My first ever Lovecats opened this set and was as quirky as I'd hoped it would be.  By the time the 33 song night finally ended with Boys Don't Cry, I was spent, yet on such a high.  This easily enters the top 10 of all time concerts seen.  I have rated it above the Coachella set into number 4 (behind Cure 98, McCartney Cochella 09 and Nirvana BDO 92).  I know we aren't going to be as close to the stage tomorrow in Atlanta, but I am so psyched to be doing this 2 nights in a row (I wish I could have done more).

Cure Setlist
Pictures Of You / High / The End Of The World / Lovesong / Mint Car / Just Like Heaven / Catch / The Caterpillar / The Walk / Let's Go To Bed / Sleep When I'm Dead / In Between Days / Doing The Unstuck / Friday I'm In Love / Freakshow / Lullaby / Fascination Street / The Hanging Garden / A Forest
Encore: It Can Never Be The Same / Burn
Encore 2: A Letter To Elise / Charlotte Sometimes / Primary
Encore 3: Step Into The Light / Never Enough / alt.end / Wrong Number
Encore 4: The Lovecats / Hot Hot Hot!!! / Close To Me / Why Can't I Be You? / Boys Don't Cry

The Crap Facts:
This is my 406th concert.
This is my 2nd concert at PNC Pavilion.
This is my 47th concert in Charlotte.
This is my 52rd concert in North Carolina.
This is my 213th concert in the USA.
The Twilight Sad are the 477th band I've seen.
This is my 4th Cure concert.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

The Wombats @ Amos'

Not sure if I'd consider myself a Wombats "fan" before this show, but This Modern Glitch was definitely a good enough album to come out and see them tonight.  And so glad I did.  After fluking a great parking spot in South End (I should've bought a lottery ticket straight away I was so lucky), I was kind of surprised entering a two-thirds full Amos (after such a poor turn out for Bloc Party last month).  I also only had to wait 5 minutes, after getting a spot half way back, near the mixing desk, for The Wombats to hit the stage.   I think a Wombats song definitely has a a distinct sound, a great combination of rock, with a synth sound that you rarely hear.  The enthusiastic crowd was having fun from the start, as was the band were in their element.  It wasn't until the 4th song, 1996, did I finally hear something familiar.  Patricia The Stripper was a fun song and I, as well as everyone in Amos, loved Techno Fan.  By the time they finished with Tokyo, the crowd and band were in full swing, and there was a great buzz about waiting for an encore.  The last song was the one I'd been waiting for all night, and one I'd have paid the price of admission alone to hear.  Lets Dance To Joy Division is 3 minutes of pop perfection.  A better ending to this show you could not have hoped for.

4 years ago I wanted to see The Wombats at the Book & Stage at the Cosmo in Vegas, but had taken my mum to see Santana that night instead.  I'm glad the chance came again for me to see them, and I'd definitely go again.

Give Me A Try / Jump Into The Fog / Moving To New York / 1996 / Be Your Shadow / Your Body Is A Weapon / Patricia The Stripper / Pink Lemonade / Techno Fan / Emoticons / Curveballs / The English Summer / Kill The Director / Tokyo (Vampires & Wolves)
Encore: Greek Tragedy / Let's Dance To Joy Division

The Crap Facts:
This is my 405th concert.
This is my 2nd concert at Amos.
This is my 46th concert in Charlotte.
This is my 51st concert in North Carolina.
This is my 212th concert in the USA.
The Wombats are the 476th band I've seen.