'The Cure - 40 Live: CURÆTION-25 + ANNIVERSARY'
(The Cure / 2-Disc + Blu-ray / NR / 2019 / Eagle Rock Entertainment)
Overview: In 2018 The Cure performed two historic shows celebrating a 40-year career. ANNIVERSARY: 1978-2018 Live In Hyde Park London - a 29-song, 135-minute anniversary concert; and CURÆTION-25: From There To Here | From Here To There - captured on the tenth and final night of the 25th Meltdown Festival.
Blu-ray Verdict: Directed by Tim Pope the long-time collaborator behind many of The Cure's music videos and their award-winning 1986 film In Orange Anniversary is chronicled in 4K with a 5.1 surround sound mix by Robert Smith and Paul Corkett.
As Pope himself has since revealed, "I went to rehearsals in a very cramped studio just the day before the show. I knew as the set list unfolded that the only way to show people the real Cure was to capture not only the grand, epic dimension of their stage show, but also the close, intimate side of this band simply making music together."
Curated by lead singer Robert Smith at London's Royal Festival where they were performing a song from each of their 13 studio albums in chronological order, displaying the evolution of The Cure's music live on stage, this incredible 2-Disc Blu-ray package runs at a wondrous 280 minutes long and is true and unadulterated value for money, trust me!
CURÆTION-25 (Meltdown): 1. Three Imaginary Boys 2. At Night 3. Other Voices 4. A Strange Day 5. Bananafishbones 6. A Night Like This 7. Like Cockatoos 8. Pictures Of You 9. High 10. Jupiter Crash 11. 39 12. Us Or Them 13. It's Over 14. It Can Never Be The Same 15. Step Into The Light 16. The Hungry Ghost 17. alt.end 18. The Last Day Of Summer 19. Want 20. From The Edge Of The Deep Green Sea 21. Disintegration 22. If Only Tonight We Could Sleep 23. Sinking 24. Shake Dog Shake 25. One Hundred Years 26. Primary 27. A Forest 28. Boys Don't Cry.
To my ears and eyes, here on CURÆTION-25 and ANNIVERSARY (which is filmed in a more traditional live gig style), the picture/audio quality on both Blu-Ray discs is simply divinely perfect, but I'm hearing from others that the audio contracts for the CD packages are not as crisp, sadly.
Regardless, as I don't believe that anything in this world is truly perfect, these Blu-rays are as close as we get to such a term, in my book!
Fantastically captured, and brilliantly performed, both shows are simply Heaven to behold as a Cure fan that wasn't at either live show, and the fact that the fans are entranced as they too watch their musical heroes perform, means a great experience; with tons of memories for all, is being had all over again with these new releases.
In fact, as I've now watched both shows twice over, there's a quite lovingly created depth to the imagery in these concerts. All be they shuffled in alongside so questionable "effects" that have been added for "extra cinematic value," of course.
Presented in HD with 5.1 surround sound, Smith, Simon Gallup, Jason Cooper, Roger O’Donnell, and Reeves Gabrels perform a song from each of their 13 studio albums in chronological order, displaying the evolution of The Cure’s music live on stage.
At the core of the set, they broke the cycle with some new, unreleased songs – offering a glimpse into the band’s future – before retracing their steps with another song from each album, ending with 'Boys Don’t Cry.'
ANNIVERSARY (Hyde Park): 1. Plainsong 2. Pictures Of You 3.
High 4. A Night Like This 5. The Walk 6. The End Of The World 7.
Lovesong 8. Push 9. Inbetween Days 10. Just Like Heaven 11. If Only Tonight 12. Play For Today 13. A Forest 14. Shake Dog Shake 15. Burn 16. Fascination Street 17. Never Enough 18. From The Edge Of The Deep Green Sea 19. Disintegration 20. Lullaby 21. Caterpillar 22. Friday I’m In Love 23. Close To Me 24. Why Can’t I Be You 25. Boys Don’t Cry 26. Jumping Someone Else’s Train 27. Grinding Halt 28. 10:15 Saturday Night 29. KAA.
Released in theaters globally only last week, ANNIVERSARY: 1978-2018 Live In Hyde Park London features the band’s acclaimed 29-song, 135-minute anniversary concert.
Filmed in one of London’s Royal Parks to a crowd of 65,000 fans, The Cure presented a four-decade deep set on July 7, 2018, including 'Just Like Heaven,' 'Lovesong,' 'High,' and 'The End Of The World.'
If you are a fan of The Cure and have seen them live yourself, you'll already know that they don't hurtle around the stage, don't prowl their audience like caged tigers and so forth. They simply stand and perform, no bells and whistles, with their stage lights set on dim to foreshadowing, to say the least.
So yeah, as both a Cure fan and a live performance Blu-ray collector, 'The Cure - 40 Live: CCURÆTION-25 + ANNIVERSARY' on all cylinders! The stage set up, the clarity, the audio quality, the song selection, and last but certainly not least, the band is in top notch fantastic form.
Robert's understated, and at times subtly growling vocals are at their majestical best throughout and the rest of the band just ignite each and every time a different song is brought forth from the set list.
“This really was the perfect way to celebrate 40 years of the band,” Smith has since said. “It was a fabulous day none of us will ever forget!”
The Cure - 40 LIVE: CURÆTION-25 + ANNIVERSARY limited edition Deluxe Box includes gatefold 2x Blu-ray/DVD and 4x CDs, covering both concerts with nearly 9 hours of content, plus a 40 page hardback book.
The limited edition Hardbook includes 2x Blu-rays/DVDs and 16 page booklet. CURÆTION-25 and ANNIVERSARY are available as standalone concerts on Digital.
For the tech geeks out there, both concerts in this set feature either DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 or LPCM 2.0 tracks and, let's be honest, you just can't really go wrong with either of these created within those levels.