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Cure - Hamburg Color Line Arena, 9/11/2002

  by Anthony Strutt

published: 22 / 11 / 2002

Cure - Hamburg Color Line Arena, 9/11/2002


In Germany to celebrate their 25th anniversary, the Cure play a stunning three hour to open a new arena in Hamburg

After a series of summer concerts around Europe in June and July of this year, and a gig in London in Hyde Park, the Cure had decided to grace our presence yet again to celebrate their 25th anniversary. This time around, it consisted of 4 shows , 3 in Germany and another 1 in Brussels. This Hamburg show was a bit of mystery as it was after Brussels and before 2 shows in Berlin, which were billed as 'The Trilogy Shows'. These shows consisted of the Cure playing what is known as 'The Trilogy', which are 1982's 'Pornography; 1989's 'Disintegration' and 2000's 'Bloodflowers' , in their entirety. The Berlin shows were filmed for a future spring DVD release. This was the first Cure gig that I had attended with friends that I had met through the Cure, so it was even more special. My journey started at 3.30 a.m. on the morning of the show. Our flight was at 6.30 a.m. and we were in Hamburg's Lubeck Airport by 8a.m. where we were greeted by a snowstorm. After travelling by coach which took about an hour, our Cure flock wandered around Hamburg getting lost only to discover our hotel was only 5 minutes from the coach stop. Having found our hotel at 10 a.m., we were told that we couldn't check in until 3 p.m., so we had our bags locked up and went for lunch. After lunch we were finally let into our rooms, and it was then that some of our group noticed Perry Bamonte, the Cure's guitarist , come out of the hotel next door. By the time I got downstairs, a number of us had gathered outside the band's hotel, ready to greet the group. All of the band were friendly, apart from Roger O' Donnell, the keyboard player. When I shook Robert Smith's hand, he commented on how warm I was. Out of all the times I have met the Cure, this was the nicest, as everyone outside the hotel loved the band with a passion, and this was a great warm-up for that night's show. The Color Line Arena is a new venue next to the AOL football stadium. We arrived at 4.30 p.m. in the freezing rain and got to hear through the closed doors the band running through 'Grinding Halt'. We knew already, just by hearing this, that tonight would be special. At just after 6 p.m., we were let into the new arena after all the girls were searched by metal detectors, and all the guys were fully body searched and bag checked. Inside the mega clean new venue, we checked out the T-shirts and then went to the bar and also had some better-than-English style pizza. Finally we headed towards the front of the standing part of the arena, which was wrist band only and limited to just 800 people. The Color Line Arena holds 15,000 or 16,500 depending upon whom you believe. This was the biggest crowd the band had played to on this tour. The total Cure fans in the venue was 10,000. Although it holds more than the Wembley football stadium, it looks smaller. Unlike at English venues, the security were helpful, and this being Germany, bread snacks and beer were brought to you,so you didn't have to go the bar. We had a long wait over the next 2 and a half hours, but it was worth it. During that time, we listened to an intro tape that sounded like 'Plain Song', but which threw in the odd church chime. At 8.28 p.m. we heard the last chime before the full Cure crowd were greeted by our guys. The first set lasted just over 90 minutes and was very loud, very intense and just oh, so perfect. It opened up with 'Want', the first track from 'Wild Mood Swings' and then crashed into 'Shake Dog Shake'from "The Top'. The crowd loved it. The band were enjoying it, except for Roger, of course, and we all forgot about our lack of sleep. In that first set, we heard 19 songs, 5 singles and 14 album tracks, but that was just the band warming up. The Cure followed this with several extended encores. In the first encore, we heard three songs ('3 Imaginary Boys', 'Grinding Halt' and 'Boys Don't Cry') from the Cure's first album, '3 Imaginary Boys'. They used to close their sets with these songs when, as a late starter to the Cure, I first saw the band play live, back in 1989. They also played, from their 'Seventeen Seconds' album, a stunning version of 'M', which, just in case we didn't know what it was, they featured on a big back drop. The second encore was more varied, and featured singles from '85 ('Close to Me') and then '83 (Let's Go to Bed') and then '92 (Friday, I'm in Love') and then '87 ('Why Can't I Be You ?'). The third encore had a mind blowing 'A Forest', my own personal favourite, which went straight into the unrecorded 'Forever', which lasted for well over 10 minutes. The Cure were still not finished and gave us '100 Years' from 'Pornography', 'Fascination Street' from 'Disintegration' and finally ended the set with the title track from 'Blood Flowers'. It was a total of 2 hours and 50 minutes of absolute heaven. We came, we saw, we loved, we were loved back, and left very happy. Outside it was still wet and the bootleg T-shirt sellers were doing a good trade. We left in the rain to go back to the hotel to drink more beer and to chill out. At 2 a.m., the Cure arrived back at their hotel to be greeted by a bigger crowd than that which was there in the afternoon. Most of the band walked into the hotel without looking at the crowd, but Robert came and spent 10 minutes talking to everyone at the front. He seemed tired, but happy. At 2.15 a.m. I went to bed, worn out, but also content. At 2 p.m. that afternoon everyone left me to go on to Berlin, while I returned home to blightly. It had been worth every pound and euro spent. Set List Main Set : Want Shake Dog Shake Open High A Night Like This The Baby Screams From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea If Only Tonight We Could Sleep The Kiss Torture The Drowning Man Charlotte Sometimes Push In Between Days Primary Just Like Heaven Play for Today Shiver and Shake End Encore 1 : 3 Imaginary Boys M Grinding Halt Boys Don't Cry Encore 2 : Close to Me Let's Go to Bed Friday I'm In Love Why Can't I Be You ? Encore 3 : A Forest Forever Encore 4 : 100 Years Fascination Street Blood Flowers

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Cure - Hamburg Color Line Arena, 9/11/2002

Cure - Hamburg Color Line Arena, 9/11/2002

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