The Cure: Anniversary 1978-2018 Live in Hyde Park (2019)


It’s Friday, and I’m in love… with The Cure, the British post-punk gothic rock band led by charismatic frontman Robert Smith, he of the wild-haired mood swings and beaucoup d’eyeliner. And Disintegration is, arguably, their finest hour, album-wise. So a concert film of their 2018 40th anniversary gig in London’s Hyde Park, in which the band performs a career-spanning set of 29 songs that includes five from their 1989 breakthrough recording (the aforementioned Disintegration), plus a performance of My Favorite Cure Song of All Time, the sublime, seven-plus minute “From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea” (from their 1992 album, Wish) would be hard for me not to love, let alone pass up (I was the second person to reserve a seat for The Cure: Anniversary 1978-2018 Live in Hyde Park the minute the tickets went on sale—apparently there’s an even bigger fan out there!). Strictly speaking, longtime Cure collaborator and videographer Tim Pope (the film’s director) could have left the lens cap on for the entire 137 minutes and still gotten a decent review from me, simply on the strength of the music. Smith’s voice sounds as good as ever, and the no-frills performance highlights his songwriting skills. Writes Pope of the whole Hyde Park affair: “Working alongside Robert for these 37 years of the band’s 40-year history—and also having previously filmed the band for the 35mm In Orange 1986 concert film—I wanted cinemagoers to feel like they were in the thick of the action, in the heart of the music. Our film really captures the true power and passion of The Cure’s music for a global audience.” With The Cure: Anniversary 1978-2018 Live in Hyde Park, Pope has fully realized that dream. We do, and it does!

(c) 2019 David N. Butterworth