Reviews

The Cure: Festival 2005 [DVD]

There are plenty of reasons to like this new live DVD from the goth stalwarts, but none of them have anything to do with the visual presentation.


The Cure

Festival 2005

MPAA rating: N/A
Label: Geffen Records
UK Release Date: 2006-11-27
US Release Date: 2006-12-05
Artist website
Amazon
iTunes

Oh, boy. As a dyed-in-the-black Cure fan, the new DVD release of Festival 2005 has me torn. On the one hand, there are plenty of reasons to like this set collected from their nine European festival appearances, not the least of which is a 30-song selection that digs deep into the back catalog. Spanning cuts from 10 of their 14 studio albums, the set list leans heavily on the band's gloomier work from the beginning of the '80s -- Seventeen Seconds, Faith, and Pornography are all well-represented. Songs like Seventeen Second's "M", Pornography's "The Figurehead", The Head on the Door's "The Baby Screams" and "The Blood", and Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me's "Shiver and Shake" all make welcomed appearances.

The lineup that pulls from every era of the ever-changing band is also a bright spot. In 2005, mainstay Robert Smith fired keyboardist Roger O'Donnell and guitarist Perry Bamonte after 10 year's of service. Smith, bassist Simon Gallup, and drummer Jason Cooper then welcome guitarist Porl Thompson back into the fold after a 10-year absence. Noticeably missing, though, are the keyboards that have been a hallmark of the Cure sound since 1979. This approach renders some songs with new life in this live setting, most notably "The Kiss" and "Shake Dog Shake". The remaining strengths of the DVD are its DTS 5.1 audio mix and its over two-and-a-half-hour of music.

On the other hand, there are problems, and believe me, they are some doozies. First up is the visual presentation -- the video quality, video editing, and video effects are all atrocious. None of the warnings or write-ups or fan reviews can prepare you for the garbage found here. The film, culled from footage "captured by a mix of fans, crew and 'on-the-night-big-screen cameras,'" is embarrassing at best. I didn't think the epileptic-fit-inducing editing of the Pornography set on the Cure's Trilogy DVD could be surpassed, yet editor Daren Butler and Fat Bob himself seem to have found a way to best that high watermark. And then there are the effects... Remember those old Black Sabbath and Jefferson Airplane videos? Yeah, you're somewhere in the ballpark now.

Another puzzling side of the whole affair is the aspect ratio. It is presented in 4:3 full screen, yet the back of the box instructs the viewer that the contents are "best viewed as widescreen!" If it is best viewed in widescreen, and the band knows it, and the fans know it, and the audio-videophiles know it, why not just present the damn thing in anamorphic widescreen? This would also be a good place to talk about the DVD extras. Of course, there are none, so this might be a somewhat slight section.

The final issue to take with the set is the noticeably missing keyboards that have been a hallmark of the Cure sound since 1979. (Sound familiar?) This approach renders some songs impotent. "Play for Today" from the seven-song encore provides the most glaring example of the deficiency: The crowd is forced to sing the keyboard sections (I'm not kidding). In other instances, like on "A Night Like This", "In Between Days", and "Just Like Heaven", the keyboardless band ends up sounding like a somewhat competent Cure cover band.

The only conscionable way to recommend this single-disc offering is to suggest you put the Festival 2005 DVD on, crank your receiver, turn off your TV, and enjoy the audio.

3


Music


Books


Film


Television


Recent
Music

Great Peacock Stares Down Mortality With "High Wind" (premiere + interview)

Southern rock's Great Peacock offer up a tune that vocalist Andrew Nelson says encompasses their upcoming LP's themes. "You are going to die one day. You can't stop the negative things life throws at you from happening. But, you can make the most of it."

Music

The 80 Best Albums of 2015

Travel back five years ago when the release calendar was rife with stellar albums. 2015 offered such an embarrassment of musical riches, that we selected 80 albums as best of the year.

Film

Buridan's Ass and the Problem of Free Will in John Sturges' 'The Great Escape'

Escape in John Sturge's The Great Escape is a tactical mission, a way to remain in the war despite having been taken out of it. Free Will is complicated.

Books

The Redemption of Elton John's 'Blue Moves'

Once reviled as bloated and pretentious, Elton John's 1976 album Blue Moves, is one of his masterpieces, argues author Matthew Restall in the latest installment of the 33 1/3 series.

Music

Whitney Take a Master Class on 'Candid'

Although covers albums are usually signs of trouble, Whitney's Candid is a surprisingly inspired release, with a song selection that's eclectic and often obscure.

Music

King Buzzo Continues His Reign with 'Gift of Sacrifice'

King Buzzo's collaboration with Mr. Bungle/Fantômas bassist Trevor Dunn expands the sound of Buzz Osborne's solo oeuvre on Gift of Sacrifice.

Music

Jim O'Rourke's Experimental 'Shutting Down Here' Is Big on Technique

Jim O'Rourke's Shutting Down Here is a fine piece of experimental music with a sure hand leading the way. But it's not pushing this music forward with the same propensity as Luc Ferrari or Derek Bailey.

Music

Laraaji Returns to His First Instrument for 'Sun Piano'

The ability to help the listener achieve a certain elevation is something Laraaji can do, at least to some degree, no matter the instrument.

Music

Kristin Hersh Discusses Her Gutsy New Throwing Muses Album

Kristin Hersh thinks influences are a crutch, and chops are a barrier between artists and their truest expressions. We talk about life, music, the pandemic, dissociation, and the energy that courses not from her but through her when she's at her best.

Music

The 10 Best Fleetwood Mac Solo Albums

Fleetwood Mac are the rare group that feature both a fine discography and a successful series of solo LPs from their many members. Here are ten examples of the latter.

Music

Jamila Woods' "SULA (Paperback)" and Creative Ancestry and Self-Love in the Age of "List" Activism

In Jamila Woods' latest single "SULA (Paperback)", Toni Morrison and her 1973 novel of the same name are not static literary phenomena. They are an artist and artwork as galvanizing and alive as Woods herself.

Film

The Erotic Disruption of the Self in Paul Schrader's 'The Comfort of Strangers'

Paul Schrader's The Comfort of Strangers presents the discomfiting encounter with another —someone like you—and yet entirely unlike you, mysterious to you, unknown and unknowable.

Music

'Can You Spell Urusei Yatsura' Is a Much Needed Burst of Hopefulness in a Desultory Summer

A new compilation online pulls together a generous helping of B-side action from a band deserving of remembrance, Scotland's Urusei Yatsura.

Music

Jess Cornelius Creates Tautly Constructed Snapshots of Life

Former Teeth & Tongue singer-songwriter Jess Cornelius' Distance is an enrapturing collection of punchy garage-rock, delicate folk, and arty synthpop anthems which examine liminal spaces between us.

Books

Sikoryak's 'Constitution Illustrated' Pays Homage to Comics and the Constitution

R. Sikoryak's satirical pairings of comics characters with famous and infamous American historical figures breathes new and sometimes uncomfortable life into the United States' most living document.

Music

South African Folk Master Vusi Mahlasela Honors Home on 'Shebeen Queen'

South African folk master Vusi Mahlasela pays tribute to his home and family with township music on live album, Shebeen Queen.

Music

Planningtorock Is Queering Sound, Challenging Binaries, and Making Infectious Dance Music

Planningtorock emphasizes "queering sound and vision". The music industry has its hierarchies of style, of equipment, of identities. For Jam Rostron, queering music means taking those conventions and deliberately manipulating and subverting them.

Music

'History Gets Ahead of the Story' for Jazz's Cosgrove, Medeski, and Lederer

Jazz drummer Jeff Cosgrove leads brilliant organ player John Medeski and multi-reed master Jeff Lederer through a revelatory recording of songs by William Parker and some just-as-good originals.

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews

Features
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.