The Cure frontman Robert Smith is something of a trailblazer when it comes to guitar tone, thanks to a modulation-heavy approach that set the template for countless guitarists who followed. Yet for his band’s colossal Disintegration gigs, he turned to a guitar amp more likely to be found in school rehearsal rooms than the world’s biggest stages: the Line 6 Spider V.
Footage of the group’s show at the iconic Sydney Opera House, which celebrated the 30th anniversary of landmark album Disintegration, shows Smith flanked by a cluster (that is the proper collective noun - we checked) of four Spiders - a quartet of cobweb-coated Spider V 120s, to be precise.
The Spiderman comes, indeed. You can hear how well the Spider replicated Smith’s iconic tones in pro-shot footage of the full gig above.
Smith has never been especially loyal to any particular amp over the years, employing combos ranging from the Roland Jazz Chorus to the Line 6 Flextone Plus while, more recently, he’s been spotted with the Supro Black Magick and Roland Cube 80GX.
As a point of interest, Smith’s bandmate Reeves Gabrels relies on the Yamaha THR100 for his onstage tones. Given Yamaha’s 2013 acquisition of Line 6, we’d wager that’s how this particular partnership came about.
The sighting follows a recent flurry of unlikely digital amp users, including John Mayer’s public outing with Fractal Audio’s Axe-Fx III, while Mark Knopfler has been relying on the Kemper Profiling Amp for his recent gigs.