Fascination Street Chemistry
The eternal popularity of The Cures music has, unsurprisingly, spawned plenty of tribute acts. Working musicians smelling money can put on costumes and bang out chords from sheet music. Sometimes they'll just hastily assemble a group and book a gig.
What has set Fascination Street apart for more than nine years has been building its own large and loyal following internationally, and their treatment of the The Cure's catalog and look into amazing performances. Fascination Street is an American-based realistic rendition of the 80's super band The Cure, performing a true to era 1989-1990 Cure concert complete with costumes, lights, effects and the song list consists of over fifty of the Cure's best songs and rarities. Fascination Street 's energy and devotion to even the most minute details of the recordings of The Cure led a critic for the Seattle Washingtonian newspaper to write, "The band contains as good of musicians as the Cure - but then, they'd almost have to be The Cure in order to recreate the sound so perfectly."
The giddy excitement at every Fascination Street show can be attributed to three distinct factors working magically together. One is the universal appeal of The Cure's music. Second is the power of that music when played to uncanny perfection. Third is the cohesive stagemanship of the members in Fascination Street, who have been playing working musicians for over a decade, and, indeed, are a band in the truest sense.
The five members of Fascination Street, each a huge Cure fan himself, use The Cure's albums like textbooks, constantly referring to them to ensure the songs performed live include every vocal tone, chord inversion, handclap, string arrangement and guitar effect. That's why Fascination Street's music meets the expectations of audiences "who know The Cure's music subconsciously," as vocalist Sean Sonnet explains.
To replicate the The Cure's studio sounds on stage (and with no pre-recorded tracks) would be impossible without prodigious musicianship. A Fascination Street show typically runs 2 and a half hours, with the songs performed in their original keys. That takes stamina, topnotch singing ability and dazzling technical prowess on a variety of instruments. The pioneering, intricate recordings from 'Babble' (Disintegration 1989) and 'Burn' (The Crow Soundtrack) were never performed live by the The Cure. That adds another dimension of difficulty for Fascination Street. But the band, supplemented by various sounds of The Cure's background instrumentation from keyboardist Evan Galt's synthesizer and, when needed, Tony Zuniga's electronic drum pads - carries through.
Finally, Fascination Street's members are indefatigable perfectionists who, even after hundreds of shows together, rehearse exhaustively before every extended concert run. The five onstage members are veterans of the road and not only project the physical looks, speech and traits of the immortal Robert Smith and posse, but the camaraderie and charisma The Cure possessed to a degree even their nearest tribute competitors, never could match. Like The Cure, the members of Fascination Street are not only supreme musicians - but electrifying performers.