Monday, May 9, 2016

The first time The Cure played Lakefront Arena

Note: This was originally posted on July 25th, 2012. No reason for reposting now, other than another trip down "Cure at Lakefront Arena" memory lane. Thanks for indulging me. We start creating new memories tomorrow!

July 25th, 1987 - New Orleans, LA (UNO Lakefront Arena)

Setlist: The Kiss, Torture, All I Want, A Japanese Dream, Catch, Just Like Heaven, Hot Hot Hot!!!, If Only Tonight We Could Sleep, Like Cockatoos, The Walk, In Between Days, How Beautiful You Are, The Perfect Girl, The Snakepit, A Forest, Fight

1st Encore: Close to Me, Let's Go to Bed

2nd Encore: One More Time, Charlotte Sometimes, Shiver and Shake

3rd Encore: Three Imaginary Boys, Primary, Boys Don't Cry, Why Can't I Be You?

It was 25 years ago tonight that I saw The Cure live for the very first time. And for only $15! My seat wasn't the best, but not bad for buying tickets just 2 weeks before the show. Thanks to mom for buying it for me at the Maison Blanche in the Oakwood Mall.

What sold me on the show? Had to be this description in the New Orleans Times-Picayune of them being "a bizarre British pop/rock band". How could I resist? :)

This was the preview article from the New Orleans Times-Picayune (most likely from the Lagniappe section on July 24th, 1987), which featured an interview with Lol. Love how he casually mentions that they have some new guy, Roger O'Donnell, on keyboards with them for this tour. :)

No live setlist reports in 1987, but as soon as I got home, I wrote out my first Cure setlist. Was so happy to get 'Charlotte Sometimes'! That was my favorite song at the time, and I couldn't believe they played it. Also didn't realize at the time how lucky I was to get to hear so much of the 'Kiss Me' album played live.

First thing I did when I got in, was to head to the merchandise stand. I bought my first Cure tour t-shirt (front - back), tour book, and Cure poster (the one with the band up top and their autographs below).

I found my seat and started to look through the tour book. Sort of skimming through it, until I got to a page with this new guy on it. I had limited knowledge of the band, but knew enough to know that Lol was the keyboardist, had been there from the start, I really liked him in the videos, and this Roger O'Donnell character looked like such a poser! He better not be trying to take Lol's place! Did I mention what an idiot I was? :) If I had only known back then how much I would come to love and admire Roger's work with the band!

And then the lights went out, and some weird ass video started (Eyemou, but I had no idea about that back then). I remember being creeped out and wondering just what in the hell I had gotten myself into. :)

I wish I remembered more about the show, but the memories are pretty vague. Loved the light show, thought it was very cool how there seemed to be a spotlight shining out from Boris' bass drum, with swirls of smoke in the light, happy that they played 'Fight', which I loved, and 'Charlotte Sometimes', which as I said above, was my favorite Cure song, and would remain so until I heard 'The Same Deep Water As You' two years later. The main thing I took away from the show was just how good they were live. Especially Boris and Simon. I thought Simon was the most awesome bass player I had ever seen. Also, I thought he was a total badass. :)

I only owned 2 Cure albums at this time, 'Standing on a Beach' and 'Kiss Me'. Both on cassette, both purchased together. I spent much of that Summer wearing those tapes out. Mostly while swimming, boom box blasting them out. :) So it was pretty nice that nearly the entire setlist was made up of songs I knew from those 2 albums. Only song I think I didn't know was 'Three Imaginary Boys'.

In the weeks/months after the show, I would slowly go through the band's back catalog, discovering 'Faith', 'Seventeen Seconds', and I saved it for last on purpose, 'Pornography'. I was stunned. This was the music I was meant to fall in love with. But The Cure had seemed to move away from these types of songs in recent years, and seemed to be more of a "pop" group. That was a dirty word for someone who had just discovered Alternative Music a year before. I wanted that "dark" band back, not this group that was wearing costumes and dancing around like idiots in the 'Why Can't I Be You?' video. A video which almost made me decide to NOT go to the show, btw. :)

Of course it was just one year later when news stories started to appear in NME and Melody Maker, talking about The Cure returning to the bleakness of those earlier albums. I was so excited! I couldn't wait to hear what that would sound like! Needless to say, I wasn't disappointed. :)

I know this isn't news, but it means a lot to me, and brings back some pretty good memories. While I was much more of a Smiths fan at the time (Morrissey was my hero, my icon), this show really opened my eyes to the fact that The Cure were much more than some quirky British band that made goofy videos. They were an excellent live band, one of the best I had seen. A belief that would be forever solidified in just 2 short years, when I'd be blown away, while standing alone at the bottom of a hill in Dallas, Texas, at my first show on the Prayer Tour.


  1. Awesome story Craig. Hope you have a blast at the show!

  2. 1987.. that was 29 years ago! Time flies by so fast....

  3. And 27 for me, Prayer Tour UNO! I can also thank my mom for going to Circle K in Slidell to stand in line to buy me tickets! Moms are awesome that way. :)

  4. I was somewhere behind you in Dallas.

  5. I love this story Craig. Thanks for the post. It made me think of my sister and her bff camping out to get our tickets to my first show. I had to wake up before dawn to do my concert line shift. I was barely old enough to go to a concert. The Cure weren't my first show, but they were the best, by far.
    This year I'm taking my boyfriend to Sasquatch and my sister and I are both going to the third MSG show. I'm super excited.
    Anyway, what I wanted to say, was thanks for the site and the post!

  6. love this, Craig, thanks so much for sharing and reposting! :) have fun at the shows, can't wait to see the set list tomorrow! it's happening, people, yay!

  7. love this, Craig, thanks so much for sharing and reposting! :) have fun at the shows, can't wait to see the set list tomorrow! it's happening, people, yay!

  8. Enjoy tomorrow! (I know you will :-)