The Cure @ Eject festival 2019, Athens

We are halfway through 2019 and the year is undoubtedly full of good shows. This year also marks the 15th anniversary of Ejekt festival which, in celebration, will see a parade of world renown music acts for all music tastes, but the initial checkmate move was the announcement of The Cure’s impending return to Athens. The confirmation received a very warm welcome from fans of all ages, who on July 17th 2019 gathered at Water Plaza in the south of Athens. 

Deciding to take a break from my usual hardcore and metal shows, and wanting to experience what the infamous The Cure concerts feel like, I found myself lost in the crowd of Ejekt festival. Unfortunately, after getting off of work pretty late and being stuck in traffic for a while, I had to miss the supporting acts and finally made my way into the arena just on time for the headliners. Since I wasn’t accredited to access the photopit, the plan was to move as close to the stage as I could and shoot from afar. What I didn’t fully calculate, though, was the massive crowd squeezing to the front (I’m also thankful that the day wasn’t particularly hot). My attempt to move further towards the stage failed rather miserably and, a minor agoraphobic panic attack later, I withdrew disheartened to where my friends were standing.

The Cure went on stage as scheduled, kicking off the performance with “Plainsong”. The crowd responded immediately, cheering loudly as vocalist Robert Smith roamed the stage, gazing back at them, until he settled behind his mic stand. The band’s sound was exceptional; every little detail was audible, creating a dreamy atmosphere which engulfed all our senses. It didn’t take long for the timeless frontman to mesmerize the fans, who swayed to the melodies and sang along to most lyrics. As expected, the “hit songs” like “Lovesong”, “A Forest” and “Disintegration” were met with a lot more enthusiasm (let’s keep in mind that the audience consisted of people of all ages and music backgrounds), and it wasn’t unusual to see ladies climbing up the shoulders of their friends and partners to have a better view of the stage. The “encore” –aka. the final third of the set- was basically the definition of a throwback and consisted of all the compositions that are, in our collective unconscious, quintessentially considered as THE CURE

It is very worth mentioning that the band didn’t stop in between songs for the entire two and a half (?!) hours they remained on stage; not to catch their breath, not even to interact with the crowd with rockstar cliches, ultimately delivering lessons to musicians half their age on what a solid performance looks like. The end of the show was highlighted (pun intended) by fitting fireworks flying over Ejekt’s stage, illuminating the dark summer sky. One more beer at the exit and off we went, the memories of what we had witnessed still vivid and the guitars still ringing in our ears. 



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