The Cure treat Hyde Park to epic and sprawling career-spanning set

'Pure perfection'

Last night saw The Cure headline British Summer Time festival at London’s Hyde Park with a sprawling and career-spanning set. Check out photos, footage and the setlist below.

As temperatures soared above 30 degrees, the masses descended upon the sun-soaked fields of Hyde Park for what was billed as The Cure’s only European festival show of 2018 – despite having performed under the name of ‘Cureation 25’ at Robert Smith’s Meltdown Festival last month.

But while that show leaned more on deep cuts and The Cure’s more esoteric side, tonight the band’s aim was the pure celebration of a catalogue of classic singles and fan favourites. Opening with the achingly bittersweet ‘Plainsong’, the band then led into the seminal ‘Pictures Of You’ to kickstart a set laden with hits.

Clearly in high spirits as he smiled and waved at the vast sold out 65,000 capacity crowd before him, Smith joked at one point:“I can’t really talk until the sun goes down. It’s taking all my energy not to dissolve”. He wold later note that this year marks the 40th anniversary of The Cure, humbled by the sense of occasion and how far they’d come.

Reviewing their set, NME wrote: “Come rain, come shine, come night, come day, The Cure never falter. The heavens smiled down on Hyde Park today, but with a setlist like that Robert Smith and co were only ever going to make for the ultimate festival band.

“With Smith’s voice as strong and pure as it has ever been over the last four decades and the band clearly revelling in the joy of just playing, you sense that you’re witnessing that rare feat of a band perhaps entering their prime rather than their twilight years. For every gloomy post-punk lament with ‘Fascination Street’, ‘Killing An Arab’ and ‘A Forest’, there are so many more rushes of gleeful love and abandon with ‘Just Like Heaven’, ‘Close To Me’ and ‘In Between Days’. Over their baffling spoils of hits and an opulence of romance, the mood remains one of relentless celebration. The weather, the high spirits and the England World Cup win may have gilded the memory, but even without that the evening would have been one of pure perfection.”

The Cure’s Robert Smith at British Summer Time, Hyde Park

The Cure’s setlist was:

Plainsong
Pictures of You
High
A Night Like This
The Walk
The End of the World
Lovesong
Push
In Between Days
Just Like Heaven
If Only Tonight We Could Sleep
Play for Today
A Forest
Shake Dog Shake
Burn
Fascination Street
Never Enough
From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea
Disintegration
Encore:
Lullaby
The Caterpillar
Friday I’m in Love
Close to Me
Why Can’t I Be You?
Boys Don’t Cry
Jumping Someone Else’s Train (First time since 2011)
Grinding Halt (First time since 2011)
10:15 Saturday Night
Killing an Arab

The Cure’s Robert Smith at British Summer Time, Hyde Park

Supporting The Cure, Interpol also took the main stage – performing a short but blistering set of propulsive but elegiac cuts from each of their albums, with the rollicking new single ‘The Rover’ from upcoming album ‘Marauder’ already landing as a fan favourite. They may have been performing in the mid-afternoon and competing with the England Vs Sweden game, but Editors also played a set with the affirming compulsion of an act who could have been headlining.

The real daytime victors however were The Twilight Sad, who clearly picked up a wealth of Cure fans have supported them frequently on world tours in recent years and pulled a sizeable crowd to the second stage. With a feverishly impassioned performance, they debut two new songs from an upcoming album due out next year, and capped off their set with a moving tribute to their friend and collaborator Scott Hutchison by covering Frightened Rabbit’s ‘Keep Yourself Warm’.

Interpol live at British Summer Time

Meanwhile, Smith recently revealed that The Cure would soon be recording new material and touring again next year – teasing that they could ‘maybe’ headline Glastonbury 2019.