Cursive Evokes A Beauty From Fury Through “Vitriola” In Los Angeles Tim Kasher and Company Rock The Regent
LOS ANGELES, CA- On a cold night in January, Cursive brought the heat to Los Angeles. Cursive formed in 1995, but it wasn’t until 2003 that they became a mainstream act with the release of their 4th album Ugly Organ. I have been a fan of the band since the early years, particularly when they brought aboard Gretta Cohn as their cellist because it added an extra layer of the dramatic to their overall sound.
Late last year, Cursive released their 8th studio album, Vitriola. Like their 7 prior albums, Vitriola is a symphony of both tempered and restless angst emphasized by the heavy dynamics and pulsing rhythm section. As is trademark Kasher, his lyrics and vocals bring you into his world of raw and relentless emotions.
The audience, most of whom were draped in black attire, filled the Regent slowly and somberly due to the unusually cold LA climate, but the excitement began to mount as the die-hard fans eagerly waited for the funeral party to start. There is something of a cult following when it comes to Cursive that only their fans understand. Being an emotional and angst filled teen, I sought singer songwriters like Kurt Cobain, Elliott Smith, Bright Eyes and Tim Kasher to put words to the feelings I had developed but understood so little about. As I grew into my 20s, Tim Kasher’s songs became the soundtrack to my life because I could relate so strongly to what the poet preached in his albums.
The stage, dressed in blue and purple lights, was ominous and fitting for Tim’s dark tone and lyrics. The all too familiar droning of the cello gave us fans that heart-clenching Cursive experience that we’ve flooded ourselves with over the years. They played songs from every one of their 8 albums, I for one was one of the many belting my guts out to every word of each song, I guess you could say all of us in the front row were part of the Anti-Social Social Club.
The crowd went insane when he played “The Recluse” from The Ugly Organ; even if you aren’t too familiar with the band, chances are you’ve heard that song and have felt the melancholic high that comes from Cursive when they are at their best. Hearing songs like “The Martyr”, “Gentleman Caller”, and “Sink to the Beat” live was electrifying for everyone in the room.
The sea of fans bounced violently to “Art is Hard” as if Kashers voice was a thunderous cloud disrupting the calm sea with a storm of emotion. The anthem of “Staying Alive” brought the rain, leaving some in the crowd with tears, myself included as the band pulled on my nostalgic heart strings. As if that wasn’t enough, they came back for the encore to play “Dorothy at Forty” and “From the Hips” which are fan favorites. These were the perfect songs for us in the audience to scream along to before they said goodnight. It’s strange how songs so sad could make everyone so happy, it’s as though everyone exorcised their personal demons with Tim Kashers sermon.
Nobody left the theater that night unhappy or let down. Cursive gave us everything we wanted and reminded us why this band has been so important to us for so many years. My own personal battle with dramatic love affairs and addiction has led me to feel as though Kashers diary of tribulations coincides with that of my own. Few bands give you the pained comfort Cursive does, pain you want to bathe in. It was a privilege to finally see them live.