The Cure – Anniversary 1978-2018 Live in Hyde Park London

This catchily titled concert movie marks 40 years of gothic game-changers and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees The Cure. 

World’s greatest silhouette Robert Smith and his buoyant band take to the stage at Hyde Park in July 2018, framed by trees and filmed by Tim Pope (responsible for most of the group’s music videos). Although Smith jokes about waiting for the sun to go down (“It’s taking up all my energy not to dissolve into a pile of dust.”) the creepy Crawleys hit the ground running and keep those levels up for two and a half hours that absolutely fly by, so immersive is the world they create.

Each of the 29 songs packs a punch like getting a deep tissue massage in a clearing in a forest in space, without a single lull in this quadragenarian journey through the band’s dreamy, danceable, euphoric gloom. As he approaches 60 Smith’s voice has never sounded better and he’s clearly having as great a time as the crowd, dancing away like Heath Ledger at a Gotham disco. They sound mature, vital and enormous, music you can hear from whatever phosphorescent planet it comes from.

Pope’s straightforward photography avoids distraction and lets us see the powerful performances up close, one of the advantages of watching the concert on film along with easy toilet access and avoiding a crowd of idiots watching through their phones (maybe leave the filming to Tim Pope yeah?). This is a transcendent celebration of one of modern music’s most important groups, whose unique songs remain indestructible despite Scarlett Johansson’s best efforts.

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