Lights out; the faint sounds of waves crashing; the sight of stars in the blackness. That's how it all started...
1. Underneath The Stars
I was hoping that they'd start with this one. They opened with it the previous show so I thought we'd get Plainsong for sure, but when I heard the sound of crashing waves and saw the star field come up on the screens behind the stage I knew this was going to be a great show. If you haven't listened to this song yet I compel you to do so right now! Go here to hear a recording from the Dallas show, the best sounding one thus far.
2. Prayers for Rain
Brilliant with a nice long "RAAAAIIINNNNN" at the end. Robert's voice was spot on. Mindy loved the misery.
3. A Night Like This
Another great one.
4. The Walk
When Mindy heard the studio version of this song she couldn't make it past the first ten seconds. After the show she was talking about loving the song about the "Japanese baby" and had no idea it was the same song she had hated. This keyboardless version was by far the best I've ever heard the song sound.
5. The End of the World
A single from the self-titled album that I never cared much about, but boy did this sound good live.
7. To Wish Impossible Things
Sounded good, but I'd rather hear "If Only Tonight We Could Sleep..." for a song with the same feel.
8. Pictures of You
The abso-fricken-lutley best sounding song of the night. Incredible.
Alright, but not great minus the keys.
10. Fascination Street
Another stunning performance. A highlight of the show.
11. The Perfect Boy
Decent new song.
12. From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea
A little disappointed with this one as I thought Porl's parts were a bit too hard to hear.
13. Sleep When I'm Dead
Very rockin' new song ala "A Man Inside My Mouth".
Brilliant again. Incredible performance of a classic song.
15. Friday I'm In Love
16. Inbetween Days
17. Just Like Heaven
...bananas. All sounded great.
I was so glad they pulled this one out. Flawless performance.
19. Shake Dog Shake
I was really hoping they would play this, but alas, this was probably the biggest let down of the show. Robert seemed a bit winded and phoned in the vocal performance on this one to rest up a bit. Still glad they played it.
20. Never Enough
Much better live than on CD.
21. The Only One
The current single. I think it's a great pop song and it sounded great live. Robert sang it perfectly.
22. Wrong Number
Not a fan of this song, but it was better live.
23. The Baby Screams
The surprise of the night for me. I'm not the biggest fan of this song but wow was it good live! I thought of you during this one. You should have been there to hear this one.
24. One Hundred Years
Brilliant rendition complete with all red lighting and a slide show of B&W negative images depicting WWII nastiness behind them. The stage exploded into a blaze of white hot light at the "100 years!" part.
25. Baby Rag Dog Book
Another new tune. Good ending, but that was just the beginning...
Encore 1: (Old School)
26. Three Imaginary Boys
27. Fire In Cairo
Another big surprise. Sounded great live.
28. Boys Don't Cry
29. Jumping Someone Else's Train
Brilliant! Though Robert did mix up the lyrics.
30. Grinding Halt
Another great blast from the past.
31. 10:15 Saturday Night
32. Killing An Arab
Very high energy. Great!
Encore 2: (Pop)
Kinda silly live.
34. Let's Go To Bed
My least favorite of the new songs. Silly.
36. Close To Me
Brilliant again! Complete with Robert's foolishness.
37. Why Can't I Be You?
38. A Forest
Perfect ender. The archetypal "Cure sound" song and a true classic. Complete with intro and long solo.
All in all I thought the show was a master performance from an iconic band with a 30 year history. Robert sounded better than I could ever remember him sounding in the past and the band was on fire. My hope that the Cure could be something other than a monument to their past has been answered. I'm looking forward to this new album in a way that I haven't anticipated a new Cure album since Kiss Me. "Underneath the Stars" and the nearly flawless show in Dallas have renewed my faith in the Cure.
I just paid $78 a ticket to go see The Cure this
October June in Dallas. It's no secret that if pressed to name my favorite band of all time it would be Robert Smith and the boys. In fact, it was a night in September of 1987 that I realized that I had to buy a guitar and learn how to play. That epiphany occurred the instant the curtain dropped at the UNO Lakefront Area revealing the band as they ripped into the opening blasts of "The Kiss."
No matter how many times I see them (every visit to New Orleans), or how disappointed I get at the latest couple of albums, I still can't help but get excited every time I hear about a new release, or a tour coming our way. What excites me most about this particular tour is the fact that for the first time in a long while (ever since I've followed them) their line up is stripped down to something very close to what it was during the golden era of the Seventeen Seconds, Faith and Pornography albums. Robert has also been talking about how he realizes that the majority of the concert crowds are there to hear the classic songs from the back catalog. It all adds up to a night that can't get here soon enough.
Karen Protti - Vocals
Steven Dennis - Guitars
Lou Carollo - Bass
Chris Bailey - Drums
Released November 2004
Recorded at Piety Street Recording
Produced by Peabody, Eddie Pearce, Erik Flettrich
Engineered by Erik Flettrich
Mastered by John Fischbach
Peabody formed in 1990 when guitarist, Steven Dennis, received a phone message from someone responding to a flyer he had put out looking for people to form a band with. Karen, Chris, and Lou had just dissolved their band Habit's Hat because of the loss of the guitarist when Chris came upon Steven's ad at the University of New Orleans. The four got together and immediately began writing songs. With the combination of some music Steven had written months before and lyrics that Chris came up with at the first practice, Peabody had their first song..."Swim."
Peabody played their first show on August 4th, 1990, at the Warehouse Cafe in New Orleans, opening for local favorites Fresh Young Minds. The band spent the next few months performing and practicing, slowly building up a set of originals. On December 7th, 1990, Peabody played their first show as the headlining act at Jimmy's Music Club in New Orleans. Around this time, Peabody made its first demo in a small home studio called Zymondo.
Lost In Old Rivers (1991-1994)
It soon became evident that the band's following wanted a recording of the Peabody's music. In February of 1991 the band went into Southlake Studios to record four songs. These recordings were paired with a few songs from a live recording and packaged as Unsigned. The cassette- only release quickly sold all of its 500 copies. In October of that year, Peabody was once again in the studio, this time with veteran producer\arranger Mark Bingham, best known for his string arrangements on the R.E.M. album Out Of Time (recall the intro to "Shiny Happy People"). The sessions, done in Chris and Karen's living room, produced four songs, but the sought-after first full length CD never materialized. In 1992 the band continued to perform in the New Orleans area and to build a following. The world famous New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival asked Peabody to play for the first time in '92. The band also netted a trip to New York City as a showcase performer at the CMJ New Music Seminar held in October.
After returning from New York, Peabody once again began the process of recording a debut CD. After checking out numerous recording studios and producers the band decided to record and produce the record themselves. They spent the next months of 1993 putting together piece by piece a recording studio. They dubbed it Our House Recording Studio and finally on May 20th, 1994, the debut CD was released. The band finally had a full length album under their belt, a twelve song collection that was two years in the making...
By 1995, the band had made another big decision. Peabody was now going to be a full-time job for its members. In their newly purchased van, Peabody hit the road on a constant tour schedule. The band felt that it was time to break out of New Orleans and start playing to people throughout the southeast. Almost all of 1995 was spent breaking into new markets, quite a change from the relative comfort of playing to 300+ crowds in New Orleans. By the end of 1995, the follow-up to Lost In Old Rivers was starting to take shape. All seemed on schedule until early in 1996 when the band underwent its first line-up change in over 5 years. Bassist Lou Carollo informed the band of his intentions to leave in order to pursue a career back home. The changes brought about by the full-time traveling schedule had finally taken their toll. The new album came to a screeching halt while the remaining three members went about the task of replacing Lou.
An old friend of the band, Jimmy Legnon, seemed to be the perfect choice as Peabody's new bass player. After a few crash practice sessions, Jimmy was out on the road with the band. On the days back in New Orleans, the band scrambled to get bass tracks recorded, new CD photos taken, and artwork arranged for the new album.
Peabody's second album, entitled Heroine, was released on August 2nd, 1996. The band continued to travel and write new material and to steadily build a following throughout the southern region. With over 6,500 copies of Lost In Old Rivers sold, and Heroine already going into its second pressing, the band seemed poised and ready for the next step.
The Long And Winding Road (1997-2000)
For the next year, Peabody would continue to travel in support of their two CDs. Playing regularly in many places, including Dallas, Atlanta, and the Gulf Coast, all seemed well for the band. While the band always found eager fans in new markets, mismanagement had finally started to take its toll on the band financially; bassist Jimmy Legnon was considering better job opportunities as an X-ray technician. Soon the tough decision was made and Peabody was once again in search of a bass player. After some months of searching for and auditioning bassists, the band came upon Thomas McDonald, a journeyman musician who had traveled extensively with acts such as Anders Osborne. Pretty soon after his acceptance of the spot, Peabody was back out on the road playing shows.
As new material began to accumulate, thoughts of a third CD became more frequent. The Egyptian Room of American Sector recording studio was eventually picked as the site for the creation of the next Peabody release. Taking a break from the travel schedule, the recording sessions were going well when work was forced to halt halfway through because the studio had to be relocated. While the band waited for the chance to complete the recordings, it became increasingly clear that the relocation was going to take a lot longer than planned. Peabody had to make a decision on what to do next...
The decision was to take some time off. Peabody had been around for some ten years, and we had all pretty much put our lives on hold while we recorded and toured. The next few years would be spent getting back to some of the things we had had to leave undone. Chris and Karen dabbled in the real estate market and expanded the child development business that they had been a part of. Steven went back to school and finished his undergraduate studies in Physics and eventually earned his Masters in Physics. Thomas continued to show up around the city, and world, playing with various bands.
While the band took a back seat to other things for a while, it never completely died. Peabody played occasional shows for special events, most notably, the annual Anne Rice Halloween party given by her fan club. And so now, in the new millennium, the band has enjoyed ten years of making original music and is ready to reemerge into the local New Orleans music scene. While they will probably never resume the touring schedule of years past, local fans can count on plenty more opportunities to see Peabody performing live once again. The unfinished third CD will almost definitely be completed, giving the Peabody faithful yet one more exciting project to look forward to.
The Time Has Come (2001-)
Sometime during 2001, in the midst of the longest Peabody hiatus to date, Steven talked with Chris about getting together on a weekly basis to play. This wasn't to do Peabody; it was just to get together and jam again. Steven contacted Peabody's original bassist, Lou Carollo, to see what he thought about getting together regularly to play some songs (mostly Rush). Everyone thought it was a great idea and soon Steven, Chris and Lou were all together in the same practice room, just playing for the sake of playing.
It didn't take long for the guys to get Karen to join in on their weekly jam sessions, and soon the original Peabody line-up was together again for the first time in six years. News of the former Egyptian Room recording equipment resurfacing in its new location encouraged thoughts of completing the band's unfinished third album. All of the original recordings from the Egyptian Room sessions were done with Thomas McDonald playing bass. Instead of picking up from those tracks, a decision was made to scrap the previous recordings and start from scratch. In July of 2002, Peabody was once again in the studio laying down tracks for the follow-up to Heroine.
Although everything sounded great and the band was anxious to get the CD completed, recording was sporadic; sometimes months would pass between sessions. Finally, on June 13th, 2003, the recording, mixing and mastering of These Things Take Time, as it was appropriatly dubbed, was complete. Artwork by longtime band roadie/assistant/photographer Ritchie Champage was finalized and the CD was finally ready.