Review: The Cure present a mixed bag at Auckland's Vector Arena
The Cure, Vector Arena, July 21
REVIEW: They're still so wonderfully, wonderfully, wonderfully, wonderfully pretty, The Cure.
And they still know how to put on a damn good show - three hours, 36 songs, four encores, and people were still chanting for more.
With such an extensive back catalogue for the band to dip into, there was always going to be something for everyone to enjoy.
And there was no waiting around for those guaranteed crowd-pleasers. After opening with Plainsong, they launched straight into Pictures of You - a move that saw dancing in the aisles.
Another perennial fan favourite, In Between Days, was song number six, followed by the jubilant Friday I'm in Love.
Frontman Robert Smith, true to form, didn't waste much time talking - and when he did, it was to poke fun at himself.
Following a throwaway quip, he announced: "That's a fatuous statement, which is why I don't speak."
His sporadic dance moves, too, were self-conscious - twirling in circles, exaggeratedly waving his hands above his head.
Bassist Simon Gallup luckily had energy enough for the whole group, his strutting and posturing breaking up what was otherwise a mostly static tableau of middle-aged rockers.
Admittedly, you would have had to be a die-hard Cure fan not to be checking your watch at times.
A humdrum rendition of A Night Like This and a handful of cookie-cutter rock anthems didn't help matters.
Luckily, the band hit their stride again in the encores, which included tortured little nuggets like Burn, from The Crow soundtrack, and more jazzy, upbeat numbers like Close To Me.
They closed on - what else? - Boys Don't Cry.
Outside, it was nearly midnight, nearly Friday, and for all their foibles, we were all still in love with The Cure.