For the past 18 years, the legendary comedy theater Second City has hosted a day-long fundraiser to fulfill Christmas wishlists for families in need. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s “Letters to Santa” event 24 Hour Improv was hosted online, and viewers were treated to extra special solo set by The Cure’s own Robert Smith.
Smith’s performance was comprised entirely of songs from The Cure’s 1981 album Faith to celebrate the record’s upcoming 40th anniversary. He opened with a stripped-down version of “The Holy Hour” on electric guitar over a backing track, switched to synths for “The Funeral Party”, and then finished with “The Drowning Man” on a reverb-soaked guitar. As if to stay on brand, the entire set was filmed in black and white at his home studio.
Other performers at this year’s event included Kim Gordon, Glen Hansard, Sleaford Mods, Jim O’Rourke, Bill Callahan, and Jeff Tweedy.
Smith has been in quite the giving mood this holiday season. As noted by Slicing Up Eyeballs, The Cure singer also played a few Seventeen Seconds tracks for a different charity webcast earlier in December. You can replay both of Smith’s solo performances down below.
The Cure allegedly have three new albums in the works, but they haven’t dropped any clues about when they plan on releasing them — a teaser that’s totally on par for the band. In the meantime, Smith spent this year lending his skills to others, including doing a special remix of Deftones’ “Teenager” and joining forces with Gorillaz on “Strange Timez”.