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The Cure at Voodoo 2013

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To celebrate his 54th birthday this year, Robert Smith enlisted his bandmates in The Cure to put on a staggering four-hour, 50-song marathon at that night's Mexico City gig. It is not unusual for the band — even in its fifth decade — to undertake extended performances that would make even professional stage hog Bruce Springsteen need a breath. In August, the band performed at Lollapalooza in Chicago and received the festival's blessing for a two-and-a-half-hour, 26-song set. The set lists don't skimp on the band's hugely influential discography, mostly pulling songs from its decadelong catalog of romantic post-punk — from 1980's dark, tone-setting Seventeen Seconds to 1987's chart-topper Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me. The Cure's remarkable seven-album run in the '80s began with the shabby, emotionally charged punk momentum of the band's debut single "Boys Don't Cry" in 1979 and closed with its dreamy 1989 masterpiece Disintegration. Those have bookended The Cure's recent shows — Disintegration's heavenly opening "Plainsong" begins the retrospective, and "Boys Don't Cry" closes.

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