-by Leigh Armstrong
-appeared on Tampabay.com (April 19, 2009)
I like the Cure but I can honestly say I was dreading going to the Cure Tribute Concert at Skipper’s on Satuday (4/18).
I didn’t want to see a bunch of local bands trashing my beloved Robert Smith songs. While I arrived jaded, I left the night with a new appreciation for both The Cure and many local Bay area bands.
I was amazed from the unique touches that each band put on Smith’s music. From the rockabilly feel of Sarge and the Aeromen (and their sudden switch into Stray Cats!) to Jeremy Gloff’s signature electro, it mostly came out wonderful and beautifully original. I obviously can’t talk about every band unless I was to write an encyclopedia sized review, but I did want to point a few of my personal highlights.
First and foremost was a band called boon. Normally known for doing a funk fusion style, the lead singer belted out “Love Song” in such a deep and primal way, it put every other version of that song to shame. She seemed to tap into the energy of what makes that song so memorable and completely unleash it on the crowd.
As far as energy goes, The Rancid Polecats were the most intense of the night. Their version of “Why can’t I be you” made me drop my camera from my face for a bit and join in with the dancing. They obviously have a deep respect for the Cure as I could close my eyes and actually feel like it was the Cure playing one of their songs in a punkier way.
When I came out to the concert, I told myself I couldn’t write about Jeremy Gloff as I wrote about him in last week’s BAAMO review. Yet here I am again, writing about Gloffy. It seems that no matter the subject matter or event, Gloff will make even the most jaded concert-goer smile and dance. In fact, after he got done with his last song, “Never Enough”, he was invited to play some of his own music because the crowd was having such a good time. If you haven’t seen him yet, make sure to check out the video I’m posting up after the jump. The man is just fun incarnate My only criticism is that Gloff needs to memorize the words to the song so he doesn’t need to bring up lyrics with him but even that adds to his chic persona.
The Cure tribute did exactly what a good tribute should do. It made me remember why I love the music by the Cure and how it can be done in so many different ways and still retain the power and inspiration that Robert Smith infused it with originally.