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The Cure conquer the Troubadour in nearly three-hour set

December 15, 2008 | 12:50 pm

English alt-rock favorites the Cure played KROQ's acoustic Christmas show Sunday, but it was the band's "secret" show for MySpace Music on Saturday night at the Troubadour that still has fans talking.  Robert Smith and his band mates, who have previously performed "secret shows" for Myspace before abroad, played for nearly three hours at their L.A. engagement. Announced less than 24 hours prior to the concert, fans started lining up at noon for a rare chance to see the Cure in such an intimate setting. 

It was hard to tell who was having more fun: the audience or the band. "This was ... great," said lead singer/guitarist Smith as the band finished a breakneck final encore, which included older favorites such as "Let's Go to Bed," "Close to Me," "A Forest," "Boys Don't Cry," "Jumping Someone Else's Train" and "10:15 Saturday Night."  Full set list and more after the jump.

As celebrities such as Kirsten Dunst and Jared Leto watched from the Troubadour's mezzanine-level perch, fans stood enraptured in front of the stage as the Cure tore through hit after hit.  Without a keyboard player (although during the encores, sounds were triggered via computer as needed on tracks such as "Why Can't I be You?"), the band was raw and taut.  The venue has rarely sounded better, and it appeared that everyone who saw the gig went home happy.

Oddly, the Troubadour seemed to have room for even a few extra bodies, of which there were many outside the club throughout the duration of the set. The Liz Phair concerts earlier this year felt more crowded, and I'm not sure why those dedicated fans weren't let inside. Regardless, the footage is now all over YouTube for those who were on the sidewalk to watch.  See for yourself above (with apologies regarding the sound quality of the clip for "Why Can't I Be You?"). 

Here's hoping MySpace Music can top this one in 2009, though it will be difficult.

Here is the full set list:

"Underneath the Stars"
"Pictures of You"
"The Perfect Boy"
"The Reasons Why"
"The Walk"
"The End of the World"
"The Real Snow White"
"The Hungry Ghost"
"From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea"
"The Only One"
"Wrong Number"
"Sleep When I'm Dead"
"Friday I'm in Love"
"In Between Days"
"Just Like Heaven"
"The Scream"
"One Hundred Years"
"Its Over"

"Let’s Go to Bed"
"Close to Me"
"Why Can’t I Be You?"

Second Encore:
"A Forest"
"Boys Don’t Cry"
"Jumping Someone Else’s Train"
"Grinding Halt"
"10:15 Saturday Night"
"Killing Another"

-- Charlie Amter