I went to the Curiosa Festival last Saturday at PacBell park. I’ve never seen a baseball diamond converted for a rock concert, and I was a bit underwhelmed. We had seats in the balcony, which means they were seats and didn’t allow us to wander between the first and second stages. On the second stage, the best act by far was Head Automatica, although their strutting and prancing got a bit old after the second song. The main stage had Mogwai, The Rapture, Interpol, and of course, The Cure. All of them rocked.
Mogwai left the stage with a stunningly loud collage of noise and feedback, sampled and looped. The crowd was a bit thin at that point, but I liked it. The Rapture played the crowd well, especially on their song “Heaven.” Interpol had the advantage of the falling night to improve the effectiveness of their lightshow, and were certainly rockin’ out.
I had heard that Robert Smith was getting pretty corpulent, but he was still a tiny figure from where I was in the auditorium. The video show in the background ranged from trippy to downright disturbing. Sometimes using multiple-views and video loops color-tinted of ants and dogs and the ocean, the backdrop of the stage was a nice counterpoint to the often-dense music coming from the band.
There was very little interaction with the crowd beyond the “thanks so much” from Smith, but they kept the music coming. It was pretty heavy on the new stuff, which is not bad, although very different from the now-poppy sounding “Lovecats.” They did not play “Boys Don’t Cry” or “Friday I’m In Love,” which is disappointing, but then it was pointed out to me that they are probably bloody sick of those songs or have a policy against playing them (c.f. Radiohead and “Creep”).
All in all, definitely worth it. I think I’ll have to buy The Rapture’s album now.