Concert Review + Photography: Cursive at Espace B (Paris)

Cursive (Omaha, NE)
May 28th, 2012
Espace B in Paris, France

I Am Gemini is still holding strong after winning me over earlier in the year (review), since it’s one of those rare albums that drags you in from start to finish given the tales Cursive spins. Last night in Paris, one of the pillars of Omaha-nay-the Midwest indie scene for the past 12+ years performed the most intimate show that anyone in America would have to have traveled back a decade to be able to witness. That’s the charm that comes from American bands in Paris. High quality, small venues.

Much like back in early 2010 at Chicago’s Metro, the set still spanned their career dipping far back yet not past The Storms of Early Summer: Semantics of Song. No worries at all though, since “This House Alive” kicked off the great test of how well I Am Gemini is now integrated. The introduction swirled through the venue, giving a bit of anxiety over whether or not notes would live up, but if all was set aside “A child screaming, ‘I am Gemini!'” would still reign as the best beginning to date of a Cursive set. It was strange, though, to have “Caveman” and “Sierra” soon follow after, despite how powerful “Sierra” is. At least in this fan’s eyes, it’s time Kasher created his full on fusion of theater and music…granted it’d be rather bloody given Gemini‘s plot line.

Cursive

Through the course of the night, Domestica and the newest album toyed back and forth it seemed for the most energy. The former getting the crowd going, the latter having a tone of freshness from the band. “Dorothy at Forty” and “The Lament of Pretty Baby” reared their growling heads, while “Retreat!” and “Big Bang” were brash enough to echo down the hall and into the 19th arrondissement’s streets. The main set wrapped up with “Eulogy for No Name,” a fitting bookend to the opener. You don’t have the thematic whispers in your ear, yet Kasher’s timelessly weathered rumble is a fitting substitute for songs with multiple characters vocally indistinguishable unless you possess the liner notes. “Do you wish you never were?” unleashed a tidal tour of force, leaving the band in a bit of a daze before Kasher opened up for probably the only time during the entire whirlwind of a set-asking for requests for the encore.

With no backstage to step off to, the refreshing candidness was something you’d always hope for back home but would be denied. Coincidentally, the audience called out “Art is Hard” and “From the Hips,” two tracks Cursive was all too excited to perform. With the band about to head out to crisscross from festival to festival in North America, Monday night could well have been a rehearsal open to the public. Regardless of venue, Cursive still has it. It’s time to revisit them if you’ve stepped back. If you’re new, buy the new album (don’t download, the value’s in the linear notes accompanying the work) and make your way back.

Cursive Setlist:

This House Alive
Caveman
Sierra
The Sun and Moon
Dorothy at Forty
The Lament of Pretty Baby
Wowowow
The Recluse
Retreat!
The Cat and Mouse
The Martyr
I Couldn’t Love You
Big Bang
Gentleman Caller
Eulogy for No Name

Art is Hard
From the Hips

Thoughts?