Miami and the Cure Make for an Odd Yet Beautiful Couple

When it was announced last year that the Cure would grace Miami with its grim presence at Bayfront Park Amphitheater, we were pleasantly surprised. Shortly thereafter, upon learning that Robert Smith and company's time in our fair city had been extended to a two-night performance, we were positively shocked. The subsequent announcement raised more than a few questions: What was the Cure, an act with one of the most bashful collections of songs in popular music, doing in the loud, decidedly un-bashful city of Miami? Had the band, or its booking agents, ever spent time here? Above all else, is a city that deals primarily in excess and artifice ready for the raw, melancholic sincerity of the Cure?

The Cure has always been a pop act.

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Regarding past travels, in the case of the Cure members themselves (the jury is still out on their agents), the answer is a resounding yes. A cursory Google search will remind fans of the group's last South Florida show at the BankAtlantic Center in 2008, the year of the group's previous North American tour. Beyond that performance, a deeper plunge into the Cure concert catalog — courtesy of the obsessive acolytes at — tells of a band that has never shied away from Miami audiences.

Since 1992, Smith and his ever-changing cast of musicians have performed in Miami no fewer than five times. In addition to playing thrice at the now-demolished Miami Arena, the Cure performed as a headlining act at Ultra Music Festival in 2007, a booking that has grown only more bizarre with the passage of time.

Considering that the Cure has existed in some form or another since 1976, nearly two decades before its first Miami gig, the group's history with the city is a relatively recent one. It's our belief that, if Smith could stomach the sometimes-disturbingly rowdy Ultra crowd, he'll be able to handle the inanity of our very own selfie-crazed city. So we can confidently conclude that the Cure is ready for whatever Miami may throw at it. The big question, though: Is the reverse true?

There's a strong possibility we're looking at this through a skewed lens: After all, despite the band's reputation for the morose and Smith's continued insistence on wearing more smeared makeup than a rejected cast member of The Bachelor, the Cure has never been as wholly depressing an act as pop culture has painted it out to be. As funny as the Mighty Boosh's riff on "Goth Juice" (a hair spray "made from the tears of Robert Smith") is, it isn't as though Disintegration, a sonic exercise in misery if there ever was one, speaks for the entire Cure discography. If anything, the public's perception of the group is more befitting of fellow proto-goths Joy Division, whose frontman, Ian Curtis, certainly never wrote anything that resembled the skittish joy of "Close to Me" or could approach the lushness of "Dressing Up." Besides, "Friday I'm in Love" has been featured in far too numerous wacky rom-coms for us to believe Robert Smith's lyricism represents the absolute nadir of gothic dejection.

Although many a moody young man would insist otherwise, the Cure has always been a pop act. On the whole, Miami residents might not be jumping at the chance to run their hands through Smith's (probably) crunchy hair as readily as they would the (surely) smooth mane of Justin Bieber, but the kinship is still strong enough for two consecutive sold-out performances. The Cure's music has always been better suited for a dim, candle-lit room than an ostentatious stadium, but next Sunday and Monday, Smith and fans will have to make do with the Miami skyline.

The Cure with the Twilight Sad. 6 p.m. Sunday and Monday, June 26 and 27, at Bayfront Park, 301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-358-7550; Tickets cost $25 to $125 plus fees via

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Zach Schlein is the former arts and music editor for Miami New Times. Originally from Montville, New Jersey, he holds a BA in political science from the University of Florida and writes primarily about music, culture, and clubbing, with a healthy dose of politics whenever possible. He has been published in The Hill, Mixmag, Time Out Miami, and City Gazettes.
Contact: Zach Schlein