The Cure at Exit Festival, Novi Sad, Serbia
By Radmila Djurica
All photos courtesy of Exit Festival
It is very difficult to even begin to describe what was The Cure for me personally and for people in the region of ex Yugoslavia in the 80s and 90s, especially during the civil war time period in 90s. The Cure was, in the 80s, one of the most important indie bands for us. And yes, finally after they sold out Hyde Park (65,000 tickets), The Cure were set to perform in Novi Sad, Serbia on Exit Festival. It was something everyone anticipated for years because this band was the band that breaks through a million barriers. For instance, for me it meant that once I have passed the border without passport check, just to hear them playing. Luckily, all of that happened when I was much younger, crazier and way before the major crisis of illegal refugees passing from Africa, Afghanistan, and Syria on the borders of ex region Yugoslavian countries. And yes, glory to the band, this time, The Cure celebrated 40 years of the band’s outstanding work in Serbia too. I actually heard that Robert Smith has personally picked the Serbian EXIT Festival, and voted twice for the same festival to be the Best Major European Festival.
Also, for example, The Smiths, Johhny Marr and Mozz (Morrissey) in real life have never had too great of a relationship with Robert Smith. The list is huge, but there are so many other bands and musicians that have affected the people no matter what the major differences have been, including superstars such as David Bowie or The Rolling Stones.
We all emotionally broke out by the appearance of this band in front of the thrilled crowd: the band is no cliché what so ever, even so after 40 years. Robert Smith’s outstanding career began in the 70s with one of my favorite bands Siouxsie and the Banshees. My heart banged so loud, every single song provoked some emotion in me. If you pay attention to The Cure’s lyrics you can see the entire opus of the band, especially in the early 80s that are actually all about emotions. Well yes, we were back in the seat, The Cure and me. The concept of The Cure is to indicates a designated emotion, an emotion where the listener listens to the music and pays attention on the lyrics to hear the identity of a certain emotion. Musical expression naturally has a wide variety of identities and with The Cure it is so easy to take on identity and make the song a very personal experience, to make the emotions of Robert Smith their own.
Not many bands can do that! This is, I think what is really unique about The Cure. Their music seems to affect the body to the point when certain tune sets in and seriously have an effect on a heart rate.
So I could see a figure of Robert Smith on the stage, all others too, on that I think a giant stage, some I recognize from before, some I do not, but Smith is the same. Very important to me, he is the same! Most musicians try to compose their music, talking about the life situations that have affected them, in hope to convey emotions to others who can at least empathize with them.
Happiness, sadness, a bit of the fear, but without any deeper consideration of the theoretical basis of the concept, he achieved everything with his emotions that he allowed to come up on the display. Smith gave himself to all of us! The stage on Exit had a familiar massive concert setup, the gigantic structure od Exit Main Stage and a lot of younger people around, in the audience. Well yes, we are the country where very young people like The Cure. It almost felt as if I have awoken from a deep sleep passed out in the woods, (and the song A Forest is special to me) The Cure’s dark emotional tube of passion and heartbreak.
Music is the way for us to express their life’s current state of mind. For me was partly a past state of mind because in the 80s I was just a teenager. Even if I could perceive emotion in a piece of his music, not all perceptions are the same: of course, the crowds around are of different ages. For some, you can clearly see emotions, a woman behind me cried. Evidence suggests that sensory experiences are also motor experiences and there is some minimum level of agreement among different listeners regarding the expression, presumably, because there is something in The Cure that produces a similar impression in many listeners. Music that has a catchy tune, does not touch so deep, emotions fade away quickly into what we knew as one-hit wonders. The Cure’s entire career never had very many catchy tunes just deep emotional and very personal tunes that are just equally important, touched different generations.