Riot Fest 2014 – Toronto


The more things change the more The Cure stays the same.

The British rock outfit led by Robert Smith might have a different lineup than that of their glory years but still impress for the most part. Such was the case Saturday evening at Toronto’s muddy Downsview Park during the roughly two-hour headlining set. Or what The Cure might call an early night.

Although the maximum capacity was just over 42,000, perhaps half that number stuck around as The Cure began their set with “Shake Dog Shake.” Here Smith exemplified part of the band’s magic, sounding basically the same vocally as he did when the tune was released three decades prior.

Meanwhile, guitarist Reeves Gabrels who replaced Porl Thompson in 2012 proved to be a deft compliment to Smith’s own guitar work at times. The Cure’s mixture of hits such as “Just Like Heaven” and the tender “Pictures Of You” with deeper cuts like “Lullaby” and “Want” made for a strong but not truly amazing show.

The Cure will headline three ‘Riot Festivals’ in September

The Cure’s penchant for topping festival bills continues as Robert Smith and Co. were announced this evening as the headliners of all three Riot Fests — set for Toronto, Chicago and Denver this September.

For this year’s festival, The Cure this evening were added to the previously announced Toronto bill — Sept. 6-7, and also featuring Paul Weller, Social Distortion, Bob Mould, Buzzcocks, Thurston Moore, The Afghan Whigs and more — while the lineups in Chicago (Sept. 12-14) and Denver (Sept. 19-21) were newly announced tonight.

The Chicago fest also features Jane’s Addiction, The Flaming Lips, Social Distortion, Patti Smith, Paul Weller, The Afghan Whigs, Naked Raygun, Billy Bragg, Mudhoney, Thurston Moore, Buzzcocks, Stiff Little Fingers, Marky Ramone and more.

And the Denver fest — actually on a farm in Byers, Colo., about a half hour outside of Denver — also features Social Distortion, The Flaming Lips, Violent Femmes, Buzzocks, Bob Mould, Stiff Little Fingers and more.