The days getting shorter is nature’s subtle reminder that summer is almost over. It’s also a reminder that the summer concert season is almost at its end. This year, there’s no better way to end summer than with the inaugural Pasadena Daydream Festival, which is curated by the legendary English band the Cure. The festival is held Saturday, Aug. 31, at picturesque, tree-filled, Brookside golf course grounds outside the Rose Bowl, where concertgoers have also flocked to the Arroyo Seco Weekend festival over the past couple years.
This first Daydream Festival features a lineup that was put together to satisfy all ages and followers of the entire spectrum of alternative music. For me, the best part of covering music all these years has been growing up in a constant state of musical discovery. Like many of us, the Cure was a major part of the soundtrack of our lives. We all grew up listening to such songs as “Boys Don’t Cry,” “Just Like Heaven,” “Lovesong,” “Pictures of You,” “Lullaby,” “Fascination Street,” “In Between Days,” “Close To Me,” “The Lovecats” and “Friday I’m in Love.” There are countless others that everyone loves for their own reasons. The band has meant so much to so many for so long, the Cure were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame earlier this year.
There’s just something about the Cure and their music that has always done more than entertain us. Their words pierce our souls. Having celebrated their 40th year together last year, the Cure remains a juggernaut of the music industry. No matter where they play, it’s always a sold-out show. Lead singer Robert Smith says the idea behind the Daydream Festival is to create something with a celebratory vibe similar to the July 2018 HOF show in London’s Hyde Park.
Truth is, this band tells it like it is and have often been true to their words. So much so, they’ve developed a fanbase that reaches all parts of the planet. Their fans include people from all walks of life and socio-economic backgrounds. The music has touched the hearts of those who were lost and lonely at some point in their lives. On the other hand, the best way to understand the Cure is by something Smith once said: “In some cases, I quite like irritating people who need to be irritated.” It’s that sentiment that’s drawn fans closer and closer to the band. That, and the kick-ass music.
As for the festival, the Cure handpicked everyone that will take the stage. First and foremost, they added the Pixies to the lineup. That’s another band that’s been a part of our lives for all the right reasons. This band has been so influential that David Bowie once said the Pixies were essential to the 1980s, and Kurt Cobain connected so much with them that he would have loved to be in the band–or even in a Pixies cover band. That’s about as cool as it gets when your peers think that highly of your work.
The Pixies are no stranger to playing with the Cure. It’s been a minute, but the Pixies opened for them at Dodger Stadium in 1989. But the band remains as busy as ever. In a recent interview, guitarist Joey Santiago said the Pixies have new tunes coming out very soon, and early indications suggest this may be their best effort in some time. That’s a bold statement given their catalogue of great songs such as “Gigantic,” “Debaser,” “Monkey Gone to Heaven,” “Here Comes Your Man,” “Dig for Fire,” “Hey,” “Wave of Mutilation” and their uber-hit, “Where is My Mind,” among many others.
Santiago went on to say he’s really looking forward to this show. I’ve been very lucky to have interviewed Santiago a few times over the years, and I know this much is true: He truly loves playing Pixies music for their fans. Maybe that is reason No. 101 their fans love the band; they know they matter to the group.
About the show, Santiago says he loves the lineup, and he’s really looking forward to taking in Throwing Muses and the Cure (who he still can’t get enough of watching).
Joining the headliners will be Chino Marino Moreno and the Deftones, Mogwai and Throwing Muses, Chelsea Wolfe, the Twilight Sad, Emma Ruth Rundle and Kaelan Mikla. A band to look for is the Joy Formidable, which is a Welsh alt-rock act led by the dynamic Ritzy Bryan. Recent hits fans dig are “Whirring,” “Cradle” and “This Ladder is Ours.” During a recent chat, Ritzy told us she’s honored to be playing this festival and she, too, loves the lineup. Joy Formidable just might be the dark horse of the day when it comes to impressing the crowd.
There were a ton of good shows this summer, but this one shapes up to be among the greats. For the Daydream Fest, suffice it to say that dreaming is free, at least for a little while; and there’s no better way to do that than with these bands. In the end, the tans will eventually fade, but the memories these bands have given us over the years will help create new ones that will last a lifetime. I highly recommend checking out this festival, it may be one you talk about for years.
Pasadena Daydream Festival at the Rose Bowl, 1001 Rose Bowl Dr., Pasadena; pasadenadaydream.com. Sat., 1 p.m.-midnight. $150-$300.