By Jacqueline Howell
On the heels of the recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, amid a series of milestone performances and announcements, and with official confirmation of a new album gestating, The Cure has announced Pasadena Daydream Festival to cap off a terrific season of celebration for their 40 years making music.
August 31st, 2019 will see The Cure headline a day of hand-picked music performances including Pixies (who supported on the Prayer Tour back in 1989) a reformed Throwing Muses, and the much-loved The Joy Formidable, Deftones, Mogwai, Chelsea Wolfe, Emma Ruth Rundle, Kaelan Mikla, The Twilight Sad, the tireless Scottish band who many Cure fans got to know better through their 2016 demi-world tour.
Fans worldwide are enjoying a victory lap as we enter year two of the 40th anniversary celebration for this singular band, unquestionably one of the greatest in our history, even if there are still a few sleepyheads out there surprised that Robert Smith’s voice is the same as ever (a noteworthy achievement for anyone with 40 years of the ravages of performance and daily life, and a rarity in music, where some acts have had to jettison entire songs with age.) The rest of us who’ve seen recent tours and live footage can only say “YES. WE KNOW. ALWAYS.” (We try not to yell at them.) Boys Don’t Cry. Inbetween Days. 10:15 Saturday Night. All of it. Aren’t we lucky?
And just last week were the Sydney Opera House shows and the worldwide live-stream of the final performance. This is the only way to reach everyone. It’s green. It’s sensible. It’s thunder and rain and wind chimes perfection.
The Cure has always done things their own way, in their own time, and with an attention to detail that deserves much recognition and should inspire others. (Struggling artists: it’s not a luxury to focus on quality over quantity, to be firm, to listen to signs and notice symbols, or to be mindful that timing is everything.) Fans have been clamoring for another concert film since The Cure in Orange went out of print (on VHS) but the timing was right, now. Tim Pope, the director most closely associated with the visual language and story of The Cure’s ascent to highly memorable band of music video age, was there to film, in 4D, July 2018’s Hyde Park performance, a show which will now, always, be known as ANNIVERSARY, the feature film that arrives in cinemas worldwide on around the anniversary…of the anniversary. REMEMBER ITS MEANT TO BE PLAYED LOUD.
As announced by Robert Smith to XFM (via Stereogum) the one day Daydream Festival in Pasadena (promoted by Goldenvoice) was planned as a way to celebrate the very special 2018 Hyde Park show and bring it to North America with a mostly different but equally appropriate (and impressive) line up of bands. In a time of struggling festivals in North America (along with some who are music festivals in name only) here is a chance not only to see a one-day fest with a full line up of cohesive, strong bands, that’s also a nod to The Cure’s Curiosa (2004, in response to the cancellation of Lollapalooza) that you may have missed.
Festivals are notoriously difficult to mount and sustain. Tours are impossibly exhausting and for world-class bands, potentially never-ending. Bands can go to the furthest corners of the earth for two years and there will still be someone unhappy (often in a major city they were just at). Events like Daydream Festival are the future: reasonably scaled, thoughtfully put together (by artists / creative people with an ear, not by accountants) with the audience in mind, in places that are in or near the cities that are major hubs. We think this is yet another reason to celebrate The Cure and their very rare anniversary as a band, and more than a band. All they’ve done for music and culture and they are still innovating the world of live music that they’ve seen all sides of and know inside out. And so, The Cure at 40 is like we should all aspire be at 40: with respect to our history and still making it a priority to look ahead with enthusiasm and new ideas. Still dreaming. After all, we all deserve many more years.
See you at /in / amid / the Chill Out Zone Experience in Pasadena? Don’t forget (non-aerosol sunscreen) and your smiles.