Indie-rockers Cursive thrill hometown crowd with triumphant return


By Angi Sada

For the record

In the July 18 edition of the Gateway, Los Angeles based cellist and keyboard player Aneila Perry’s name was misspelled in the Cursive concert review. The Gateway apologizes for this error.

Please send any comments or concerns regarding errors to

Tim Kasher has the sexiest, most maniacal laugh since Jeremy Iron’s turn as Scar in The Lion King. That laugh, paired with the fact I was standing next to the beautiful prince of Saddle Creek illuminati, The Faint’s Todd Fink, at Saturday night’s show made it a scandalous evening. Well, that and waiting for my photographer outside of the building beneath the men’s restroom windows while a bar acquaintance handled his business.

Despite a rocky start with media access and the show’s promoters, I really enjoyed the tail end of La Salle, who sounded great from the foyer of the steamy Sokol Auditorium. I hope I don’t sound bitter about missing them because I really did have fun haggling and sweating like a man in front of Omaha’s indie-rock royalty.

Nonetheless, I was giddy about the opportunity to see them again. The last time I saw them was in the Sokol Underground with Criteria in November 2005. They capped that night off with a slew of Cyndi Lauper covers, including “(Goonies R) Good Enough” from the 1985 movie The Goonies. After soothing my tattered nerves with an unspecified amount of beer and several incidental run-ins with friends I’ve not seen for ages, I was ready to get my face rocked off by Cursive’s beautiful barrage of melodic bounty.

And, that I did. Starting with “Big Bang” from the upcoming release, Happy Hollow, they tore the stage up one side and down the other as intentionally sad-looking girls in vintage dresses and dowdy shoes clung tightly to their gangly, unkempt boyfriends who were almost certainly wearing their little sister’s jeans.

They huffed and puffed on long cigarettes that dangled apathetically from their downward drawn lips while they held cocktails in clear keg cups with skinny hands and bent wrists. That went on while I continued to consume barley soda and raise my fists (heresy in the midst of girly elitism), motivated by the sheer ferocity of the rock in the air.

Intelligent, ferocious and fun to watch, they elevated me to a peaceful place with an evolving maturity in everything from their instrumentation to their stage presence. The band made my whole heart glow by playing “The Lament of Pretty Baby” off of 2000’s Domestica. The glow cooled me back to my passive-aggressive self and I continued to enjoy 99 percent of the evening.

The show, which started with Chicago band Make Believe at 8 p.m., moved along with much speed and many clever asides from Kasher, felt a little rushed. Kasher gushed with appreciative accolades for the full crowd, while the amazing horn section drained their spit valves, reapplied lip balm, enjoyed a cold beverage or whatever they needed to do.

The real delight and surprise of the show was watching a stunningly beautiful woman set up a cello before Cursive’s set began. The joy that filled my bosom was only eclipsed by momentary flashbacks to the balmy entrance debate. But, back to the joy.

As I was saying, I was overjoyed by the presence of the cellist, Annie LePerry. Her performance was inherent to the successful live translation of many songs off of The Ugly Organ, including “The Recluse.” This song, in particular, saw the crowd swell with energy and found me being tapped on the shoulder by a guy with no neck and shiny, spiky black hair in a fraternity T-shirt yelling, “I love these guys. They f@#!ing rock!” and offering me an incredibly awkward high-five.

As the night drew on, Kasher goofily prepared the stoic crowd for the obligatory encore by explaining the process, left the stage and then delivered said encore. Guitarist Ted Stevens stepped up to the microphone for “Bad Science,” another track from Happy Hollow. Stevens’ vocal performance was breathtaking; almost as pretty as the multi-talented LePerry, who played keyboard throughout the night, as well.

The night closed around 11:30 p.m., allowing me to visit the 49’r Lounge for an hour. I sat in front of the Arachnid dart machine reading the clever quips and doses of alcohol_”logged philosophy that flashed across the blue screen.

Despite Cursive’s energy and upbeat demeanor in the face of the intensely serious subject matter visited in their lyrics, the elitist attitude that permeated throughout the crowd made one unattributed morsel of eight-legged bar wisdom ring true: Seriousness is the mask of the shallow.

However unpleasant much of the human interaction on the floor was, the interaction from the stage was testament to the fact that Cursive is one of the best live bands I’ve ever seen.

Even though there was no “She-Bop” encore I would sweat through altercation and aggression over and over for that kind of show.


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