Welcome to Six Damn Fine Degrees. These instalments will be inspired by the idea of six degrees of separation in the loosest sense. The only rule: it connects – in some way – to the previous instalment. So come join us on our weekly foray into interconnectedness!
There must be something sad and desperate running after your own twenty year-old success. The Cure had their last real hit in 1992 with “Friday I’m in Love”; since then, only hardcore fans might have followed their music for the last 30 years. Curiously, their concert in Basel was sold out, hinting that maybe their show might be a greatest hits show with their new, lesser known music mixed in.
But no. Except for “Lovesong”, Robert Smith et al. insisted on playing their more recent, lesser known stuff so that there was not a flicker of delight among the audience. Granted, we didn’t come to the concert to find party-time cheer and a frightful mosh-pit, but their first 90 minutes were too melancholy and funereal to allow for any kind of musical quality to be remembered.
It didn’t help that we were squashed at the side entrance while other people at the back of the hall had enough space to themselves to swing a black cat in. Once we were comfortably standing near the back beer stand, we could pay attention to the music, but we waited and waited for a new song we could like or even one of the old hits. In vain. We weren’t exactly bored, but there was something in the air that reminded me of a depressed radio, playing its forgettable tunes in the corner. There was nothing to connect my teenage would-be goth self to the music on stage. I wanted to switch stations. Failing that, I wanted another beer.
So we left before the encore. The Cure, it is written, played on for two and a half hours, bringing their hits split up into two encores, but by that time, we were no longer there. You bring your best stuff sprinkled throughout your show so that folks keep listening. People don’t go for the fantastic mints at the door if the menu has been sub par.
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