THE Cure reasserted their reason for being in the lives of fans for more than 30 years with their Qudos Bank Arena concert in Sydney on Monday.
“Hello again,” Smith said after the opening song of their post Splendour In The Grass headlining sideshow.
There was no doubt he was reacquainting himself with an audience of true believers, with a smattering of new adopters, a rebooted goth generation displaying more coloured hair and thick black eyeliner than those original fangirls and boys do now in 2016.
What remains the same are the feelings provoked by The Cure’s curious and distinctive mix of melancholy and merry.
They struck the gloriously sad note early with Pictures Of You, it’s wistful wash of yearning sending you on a sonic time trip back to all that teenage angst of young love.
The power of The Cure to unleash a wall of majestic sound with their swirling guitars and synths set against tribal percussion was proved by the third song Closedown and later with Burn.
They just as quickly reminded us why they have enjoyed a raft of unforgettable pop hits with the irresistibly gorgeous High.
Robert Smith was the focal point for most of the concert, it’s no-frills staging, lighting and video rarely drawing attention from the frontman, who remains charismatic and captivating despite his best efforts to be anti-star.
Although there is nothing more endearing than a cheeky Smith grin or daggy dance to win a crowd’s approval.
There was something equally compelling about watching the band come together and lock into a groove with that unspoken chemistry and musical language enjoyed by musicians seriously at the top of their game.
A Night Like This, Push and In Between Days hit the nostalgia buttons, that cheer of recognition rippling through an audience who seemed a little surprised at the unexpected barrage of hits at the beginning of what everyone knew would be a marathon set.
Primary thrilled before the band went into deeper cut territory with Like Cockatoos.
All those hours listening and singing along to Lovesong and From The Edge Of The Deep Green Sea like they could in fact cure heartbreak or conjure true love were relived in the minutes they were performed.
As they have done on previous shows, the second half of the gig was constructed as a series of encores of a handful of songs each, a weird set configuration. But hey, it’s The Cure, so weird it is. And when you get A Forest and its green haze of lights in the middle of those encores, who cares?
The crowd were less exuberant as when the band played their first three records at those brilliant Vivid Live concerts in 2011.
Perhaps that was the Mondayitis, the inevitable troughs in a gig stretching towards three hours or simply taking it all in with vigorous head-nodding during a favourite song is all the response the gig could muster from many fans.
Whatever your Cure poison, there was something for everyone, including an indulgence or two for Smith’s pleasure, most notably opening the encore section with new song It Can Never Be The Same.