Milan, Italy - The sun was still out, and people were already milling around the sidewalk waiting to get in when we arrived at 7:00. The doors finally opened at almost 8:00, and less than half an hour later, the opening band Silkscreen started to play.
We can't comment on Silkscreen, other than that they are another Dedicated label and are touring with Cranes . . . on the same bus! We spent the entire opening act talking with Jim and Mark about their tour and their show. As Silkscreen started to wind down, Jim and Mark disappeared and we pressed forward toward the stage. By this time, the place was packed and people were already straining to get the perfect view of the band they had really come to see.
Very soon, the lights dimmed and the Cranes slowly walked on stage -- first Mark, then Jim, then Manu and finally Alison wearing a shimmery black dress and her usual shy smile. Alison took the microphone, wished us all a great show, and the band immediately began with a spellbinding performance of "Cloudless".
The atmosphere grew hotter and hotter as the band gave flawless renditions of the songs we had come to hear -- "Jewel", "Breeze", "Angel Bell", "Far Away". As always, Alison's voice and mysterious lyrics seemed to float above the powerful sounds of the band. The crowd was mesmerized. You would never know the band has been performing almost every night for almost 5 months, since their high energy and enthusiasm never faded for the entire show. They really seem to love what they are doing! It's definitely time now for fans to stop connecting the Cranes with The Cure, and realize that the Cranes deserve their own recognition for the creativity and talent they display in every song and in every album.
After the first set, the band disappeared back stage for only a moment before returning for an encore. The crowd went crazy as we heard the first few familiar notes of "Tangled Up." Fantastic! This was followed by "Adoration" and then Alison thanked us for coming, told us they had one more song, "and it is called, Lilies." The crowd screamed in anticipation, and really came alive. This was probably the most powerful song of the show.
Unfortunately for the fans (and of course the Cranes were disappointed too), the Rainbow Club enforced a strict curfew, limiting the Cranes to only one encore. But every minute was worth it.