Saddle Creek | Cursive | Reviews


Mama, I'm Swollen

Author: Suzi Pratt
02/23/2010 | | | Live Show Preview
Neumos hosted an epic night of punk and indie-rock that brought most of the audience back to their teenage years when Alkaline Trio was graduating from releasing EPs to full-length albums. One of the evening's opening bands The Dear and Departed is in fact at that stage where their first EP is on the market, while Cursive and Alkaline Trio each have seven albums out. Band allegiance and popularity was all too evident given the sold out audience's response to each band.

Hailing from Orange County, The Dear and Departed took the stage at 8PM launching into a batch of emo-rock songs led by vocalist Dan Smith, aka Dan Under. The band rocked hard, with Smith using several takes between songs to thank the audience for attending. Despite the early turnout and the band's feverish performance, they only received polite applause and a few shouts and whistles. Given the recent release of their first EP Chapters, and their touring with Alkaline Trio and AFI shortly afterward, The Dear and Departed may not be ready to headline a show yet, but keep your eye on them; they have potential and may find their niche someday.

Band Members
Tim Kasher lead vocals, guitars
Ted Stevens guitars, backing vocals
Matt Maginn bass
Cully Symington drums, percussion

Cursive was the second act, and the all-ages sold out audience burst into life releasing the first spurt of energy you would expect to see at a punk rock show. While Cursive, like Alkaline Trio, has been making music for over a decade, there were people in the audience you would think only knew 'cursive' as a form of handwriting, but apparently you can never be too young to become a fan of these bands.

Lead guitarist and vocalist Tim Kasher led the band into a passionate set of post-hardcore songs that had the floor crowd set off rounds of body slams with hardcore fans singing along and pumping their fists in the air, reaching towards Kasher. If it hadn't been for a sign on the front stage speakers warning that stage jumpers would be ejected, crowd surfing definitely would have ensued. Hats off to Kasher, who let loose and never let his voice fade as he sang softly, belted out falsettos, and let loose growling screams throughout the set. Even thought they weren't headlining, I was convinced that Cursive had stolen the show for the night. For even more on Cursive, check out SSG's exclusive interview with Tim Kasher from last fall HERE ( ).

Alkaline Trio
Band Members
Matt Skiba lead vocals, guitars
Dan Andriano bass, vocals
Derek Grant drums

Headliner Alkaline Trio carried the crowd energy to its all-time high of the evening, making everyone in the front row feel like we were in a trash compactor. Despite some of the trio's pitfalls over the years, including some ill-received recordings, Alkaline Trio proved they have a steady fan base by selling out this show at Neumos to a bunch of loyal fans that sang along with band. Lead singer/guitarist Matt Skiba was full of smiles and told the crowd how hearing Perhaps contributing to their popularity was the band's recent return to an indie label and their early Alkaline Trio style, as reflected in the release of their seventh album This Addiction.

Alkaline Trio started off with the hit single "This Addiction" off their new album before launching into an hour-long set of crowd favorites that reflected a mix of tracks from the band's long discography. While lead singer/guitarist Matt Skiba led a majority of the songs, each member of the Trio, including bassist Dan Andriano and drummer Derek Grant, had their moment to lead a song or two. There wasn't a single song played that didn't have a majority of the crowd singing along.

Maybe Neumo's anticipation of this scenario was why the bass and guitars were up too high, drowning out the musicians' vocals. The show including the encore was over by 11:30PM, and it was obvious that no one wanted to leave. Unfortunately, I was unable to capture live video from the show because, well, you should try holding a camera steady in a mosh pit and tell me how that goes. The good news is that Alkaline Trio's newest album The Addiction is available right now, so go get you some!
Mama, I'm Swollen

Mama, I'm Swollen

LP / CD / MP3