The Cure triumph on trip down memory lane in Barcelona

English rock legends take to stage at Palau Sant Jordi, returning to Catalonia for first time since 2016

The Cure in Palau Sant Jordi on November 10, 2022
The Cure in Palau Sant Jordi on November 10, 2022 / Maxime Van Cleven

Maxime Van Cleven | Barcelona

November 11, 2022 12:26 AM

November 12, 2022 10:53 AM

“It has been around six years since we did a show in Barcelona, but this feels like coming home,” said frontman Robert Smith of The Cure when taking the stage in Palau Sant Jordi on Thursday night.

Even though the band’s most recent album dates back to 2008, the English rock legends organized their 44th European tour, passing through 22 countries to celebrate the 30 year anniversary of their beloved album ‘Wish’, of which a remastered deluxe version has also been released this year.

The band originally formed in 1978, leading up to a long multifaceted career with 63 year old frontman Robert Smith being the only member that stayed in the band for all those years, getting rewarded with a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2019.

Major influence

If The Cure have learned one thing over the years, it is how to make a dramatic entrance. As a packed Palau Sant Jordi faded to black, thunder sounds started playing over a sky full of stars, predicting the stormload of applause Robert Smith would receive when he showed his face in the Catalan capital for the first time in six years.

Looking at the crowd, it felt like every piece of the band’s 44 year long career and enormous catalog was represented, seeing young and old come together in mostly black clothing, leather jackets, band t-shirts and the occasional classic make-up look, reflecting the undeniable influence the group has had in New Wave and Gothic culture for nearly half a century.

The English rock legends have been through many different stages during their long career, ranging from post-punk and new wave influenced tracks in the early days, to a darker approach in the 80's that faded into a more pop sensible sound as the band progressed, gaining mainstream popularity across the globe.

Concert by The Cure in Palau Sant Jordi / Maxime Van Cleven

Deepdive in catalog

With the ability to handpick their favorite songs out of a 13 album catalog, the band sent the fans off on a two and a half hour long time traveling journey, constantly switching the atmosphere from heartfelt tracks such as ‘And Nothing is Forever’ being received by a flashlight waving audience, to heating up the venue with songs like ‘Burn’ seconds later.

As fan favorites ‘Play for Today’ and ‘A Forest’ started playing, the audience harmonized Smith’s lyrics so well that even some journalists could not stop themselves from standing up to dance, raising the atmosphere to unseen levels.

The band’s stage performance could not hide the fact that they have been doing this for over 40 years, with Smith’s occasional walk to the stage corners or side-by-side playing with fellow guitarists being as crazy as the Englishmen get these days, but the vocal performance and musical talent of the rock group remains on the same world class level it did when ‘Wish’ was first released.

Ending with several bangs

After the band left the stage for a brief pause, Smith started joking about his Spanish level before promising a more joyful encore with songs such as ‘I Can Never Say Goodbye’ and ‘Disintegration’, while hinting at yet another leg of the concert.

With Lullaby being the first song of the second encore, the fans screamed so hard that they will probably not be able to hide the fact that they saw The Cure from their colleagues in the early morning. When Smith started singing “Friday I’m in Love”, it felt like the audience already fell in love on Thursday night.

Having waited to play ‘Just Like Heaven’ and ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ until the end, the band’s final moments on stage felt like the triumph of a lifetime. After an ongoing applause, Smith said the promising words “I’ll be seeing you again” to the audience as his final goodbye.