The Cure at North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre in Chula Vista, CA

The Cure delivers an ethereal gothic rock ‘n’ roll masterpiece on the first of a two-night stand in San Diego, CA.

The Cure most certainly have aged since the last tour of the United States seven years ago, there is no escaping father time for any of us. Musically, the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame inductees have aged like a fine wine. Chula Vista was treated to a night of pure musical mastery as the legendary rock icons graced the stage at the picturesque North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre. Avid fans from the very young to those who could consider The Cure their peer generation eagerly gathered to witness what felt like a once-in-a-lifetime performance, and with Scottish post-punk outfit The Twilight Sad as the opening act, the stage was set for an unforgettable evening of rock ‘n’ roll history.   

The cool overcast gloomy sky set the perfect tone for the evening, The Twilight Sad emerged on stage. Their moody, atmospheric soundscapes reverberated through the amphitheater, captivating the audience with their haunting melodies and heartfelt lyrics. Frontman James Graham’s emotive vocals resonated deeply, painting vivid pictures and introspection. The Scottish band’s sound is influenced by shoegaze, post-punk, and gothic rock, and their live performance was full of intensity and emotion, a perfect appetizer for the main course.

After a short intermission, The Cure took the stage as Robert Smith paced the entire length of the stage, making eye contact with as many ecstatic fans as possible, taking each step methodically as if trying to be as present in the moment as possible. The band opened their set tearing right into “Alone” and they quickly launched into a setlist that spanned their entire career. The Cure played all of their biggest hits including the pop hits “Lovesong,” “Friday I’m in Love,” and “Boys Don’t Cry.” For all of The Cure’s pop sensibilities, the band quickly reminded you of their goth roots, taking spins in the dark and ethereal weaving journeys through tracks such as “A Forest” “From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea,” “A Strange Day,” and debuting new dark themed lamentation at the start of the first encore with “I Can Never Seem to Say Goodbye” about the loss of Robert Smith’s brother to “something wicked.” Notably Smith’s introduction of the new tune seemed to choke him up a bit.  

The Cure’s nearly three-hour live show was a visual spectacle as well as a sonic one that seemed to pass very quickly. Throughout the night, The Cure’s performance was tight and energetic and kept the audience’s attention rapt and their bodies swaying. Robert Smith’s vocals were as powerful as ever, and the band’s instrumentals were flawlessly executed. The visuals were also impressive with a giant screen behind the band displaying a variety of images and videos.

The Cure closed the show with a triumphant performance of one of their biggest hits, “Boys Don’t Cry.” It was a fitting end to a night that was a celebration of one of the most important bands in alternative rock history.

The Cure’s performance at North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre was a reminder of why they are one of the most enduring bands in music. They have been creating dark and atmospheric music for over 40 years and their sound is still as relevant today as it ever was. If you have the chance to see The Cure live on this tour, do not miss it. It is an experience you will never forget.

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About George Ortiz 62 Articles
George is Southern California and Big Sky, Montana-based photographer. He grew up in Los Angeles and began shooting professionally in the mid 80s. His words and photos have appeared in local & national publications.