Reviews

I Am Gemini

Author: Tory Reineke
02/12/2012 | Swaager.com | www.swaager.com | Record Review
As Cursive took the stage at Larimer Lounge, one diehard fan yelled what so many others were wondering, "Why are you playing here?" The question was a valid one Cursive has a legion of fans who would have easily sold out Bluebird Theater. No matter though, happy and enthusiastic fans packed into Larimer Lounge, a venue with enough grimy and gritty charm to echo Cursive's music. The intimate venue was perfect for the band to play off the anxious and grateful crowd's energy on the start of their tour promoting their new, highly anticipated album, I am Gemini. Opening with "The House Alive," a song from the new album, front man Tim Kasher brought this house of rockers alive.

Although I am Gemini doesn't come out until February 21, (available to stream now via Rolling Stone on Swaager's favorite Omaha-based website, Omahype) last night's lucky ticket holders were the FIRST to get a taste of the band performing their latest efforts live. The reaction from the crowd to songs like "The Sun and the Moon" and "The Cat and the Mouse" and "Wowowow" was a sure sign of the success and devotion for the new album. I am Gemini explores the polar, or perhaps shared, relationship of twin brothers, Cassius and Pollock who were separated at birth. While the newer tracks are decidedly more upbeat than previous endeavors, the sound is still classic Cursive often sinister, but always clever and complex.

Cursive took fans on an emotional journey through an all inclusive set that also included several older tracks. Fan favorites like the forcible "The Martyr" off Domestica (2000) to "From the Hips" and "I Couldn't Love" from Mama I'm Swollen (2009) had the entire audience headbanging and singing along. Longtime fans were treated to a downtempo version "The Recluse" and swayed back and forth to its raw lyrics and chill groove. "A Gentleman Caller," was also worked into the hour-and-a-half long set, and (newer) drummer, Cully Symington, rocked out on "Some Red-Handed Sleight of Hand," all off the acclaimed The Ugly Organ (2003).

The band finished their set with two tracks off Happy Hollow (2003), as the trumpet's sharp scream in the live setting intensified the powerful "Big Bang" and left the audience breathless after a dramatic "Dorothy at Forty." Energetic bassist Matt Maginn was literally dripping sweat on the front row as he jumped around, hitting his hard cutting bass lines while the crowd screamed in unison "Dorothy, wake up!" The set ended abruptly with hands and fists in the air, as we exchanged sweaty hive-fives from Maginn and Kasher.

It was obvious the crowd was full of longtime, loyal fans. One minute they were pushing, moshing, headbanging and whipping their hair around to the hard core riffs, and the next minute their arms were around each other's shoulders, singing along to the impassioned lyrics. Kasher expressed his love for Denver, asking the crowd and his band mates, "Why don't we play here more often?" He continued charming the band's Denver admirers saying: "You guys are awesome. You should go to Omaha and teach them how to rock!" Kasher's bashful yet charismatic stage presence had fans entranced one moment, psyched up the next. He candidly took swigs from a brown Thermos in between songs, gave his water bottle to a parched fan in the front row, and even grabbed one fan's iPhone to record a live video from the stage.

After a short break, back from the greenroom "for a quick shot," Cursive returned to the stage for a gut wrenching encore that included a flawless, hard-hitting "Art is Hard" and later "Sierra' from The Ugly Organ. To keep the new album on everyone's mind, they closed with "Eulogy for No Name," a crowd-pleaser that is sure to keep fans eagerly awaiting I am Gemini's official release.
I Am Gemini

I Am Gemini

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