9/9/1989 Billboard (8-20-89 East Rutherford, New Jersey Show Review)
Talent In Action The Cure, Love & Rockets, Pixies Giants Stadium East Rutherford, N.J.
Call it at Woodstock for the alienated. More than 49,000 fans turned out here on Aug. 20 to prove that alternative music lovers, despite their fashionably jaded demeanor, can muster as much enthusiasm for a stadium show as their elders reserve for the likes of Bruce Springsteen.
Like a similar stadium concert staged by Depeche Mode last year in Los Angeles, the large turnout here demonstrated that alternative music's appeal is a lot stronger than many believe. And much to the potential delight of advertisers, the young fans of the genre can't quite hide thier affluent suburban roots beneath those black clothes and spiky haircuts.
The show, heavily promoted through Long Island, N.Y., alternative radio outlet WDRE, opened with 4AD/Elektra's Pixies, who offered hints of melody in a musical pastiche reminiscent of the mix the Beatles used to bury Paul. Love & Rockets suffered a bit from its midshow placement on this hot and muggy afternoon. But the crowd stirred for the ex-Bauhaus boys' "No New Tale To Tell" and current RCA hit "So Alive."
As the skies darkened, the Cure emerged with one of the outdoor season's most spectacular special effects packages - a living-color display that enveloped the band in a swirl of smoke and laser lights.
Although screened by the special effects most of the evening, Robert Smith and company had the tiers literally shaking with the heavy dance beat of "Disintegration," their latest Elektra album.
Opening with "Plainsong," the Cure's generally angst-ridden oeuvre gave way to a more joyous dance party on such cuts as "Lovesong" and "The Walk." The controversial "Killing An Arab" ended the show, a final shower of purple smoke putting the cherry on the cake.
- Bruce Haring