The Cure Made Us Fall In Love on Thursday at Xcel Energy Center

The lead singer, guitarist, primary songwriter Robert Smith and The Cure at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota on Thursday, June 8, 2023. (Photo by Jess Beck)

JESS BECK | Go Venue Magazine

The Cure is something of legend. Not only have they provided bands with an endless array of inspiration, they have also been written about, sang about, and just about everything else in between. Remember the Skiba era Blink giving them a shout-out on their song “San Diego?” Bands like that don’t mention bands like…THAT…unless they’ve reached some sort of status.

Icons recognizing icons.

And on Thursday night on June 8th in St. Paul – the original “not Goth” band that told Ticketmaster to suck a fatty played to a packed house at the Xcel Energy Center. And you know what, sure, the drink prices at shows will always be outrageous. But good on The Cure for taking on arguably the biggest monopoly in the music industry so that their fans could afford to come to a show (looking at you Taylor Swift) at a reasonable price, which honestly helped increase the sale of merch.

The opening act, The Twilight Sad, hails from Scotland and were well received by the crowd. They’re a perfect balance between emo, goth, and house music. Their sound is quite large, slow and rhythmic, and there’s a sense of impending…something…when you listen to it. Vocalist James Graham at times appeared to be possessed and enraptured by the sound with erratic bodily movements on stage, but it was so captivating to witness at the same time. He’s certainly a true showman, and if you get the opportunity to see them at some point, I would certainly make a note to do so. If you’re a fan of acts such as Bloc Party – you’ll dig these fellas!

But The Cure took to the stage with such grace and fanfare unlike anything I’ve witnessed. Robert Smith took a few moments to walk across the stage, brimming between lipstick smudged smirks as he acknowledged the crowd from all angles. You could really tell that he wanted to be there in that moment, both receiving accolades from the throngs of show-goers who were dressed in identical fashion and humbly giving gratitude back as he took to the microphone after a few minutes of subtle composure.

As the band played on, the audience grew louder, creating a wonderful echo chamber of sound that filled the arena as fans sang back every lyric. In typical fashion, The Cure did their thing on stage – lost in the moment – but that wide-eyed, humble appreciation never left Smith’s countenance as he sang on.

I wasn’t provided a review ticket, so I can’t speak to the rest of the show. However, what I can tell you is that The Cure has been providing our earholes with atmospheric, large, impending sounds for over 40 years – and given the widespread age demographics that were in attendance, their music won’t go out of fashion anytime soon.

Will we get another 40 years out of The Cure? Time will tell of course, but for now we can be content with their new studio album “Songs of A Lost World,” which will mark their first release since 2008. As always, a big thank you to the Xcel Energy Center staff for keeping the show safe and respectful, which I imagine Smith appreciated. Keep hydrating yourselves, keep wearing deodorant to your concerts, and keep being excellent to one another.

We’ll see y’all at the next show! The Cure’s setlist listed below:

1. Alone
2. Pictures of You
3. Lovesong
4. And Nothing Is Forever
5. A Thousand Hours
6. At Night
7. Play for Today
8. A Forest
9. Shake Dog Shake
10. A Fragile Thing
11. Burn
12. A Night Like This
13. Push
14. 39
15. From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea
16. Endsong
17. Encore:
18. I Can Never Say Goodbye
19. It Can Never Be the Same
20. Plainsong
21. Prayers for Rain
22. Disintegration
23. Encore 2:
24. Lullaby
25. Six Different Ways
26. The Walk
27. Friday I’m in Love
28. Close to Me
29. In Between Days
30. Just Like Heaven
31. Boys Don’t Cry

The Cure

The Twilight Sad

All images © Jess Beck

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