The Social, Orlando, Fl • April 29, 2009
Rather than lose their indie rock sound in a large venue, Omaha, Nebraska’s Cursive offered Orlando not one, but two intimate shows at The Social. Both nights sold-out, so it’s safe to say that Orlando was delighted.
After battling the longest line ever and holding my breath before entering the smoky club (why do they still allow smoking at The Social, I wondered) I picked my spot and settled in for MAN MAN. Their stage setup let me know that I was going to be in for a new experience. It looked like your grandmother’s attic with little nick-knacks everywhere. The experimental Philadelphia band came out with war paint on their faces, and with one guy still eating a very delicious looking sandwich. My first impression was that these were five guys that were given instruments and told to “wing it” — not that that’s necessarily a bad thing, because it all came together. With everything but the kitchen sink tossed in, in terms of sound, MAN MAN were hard to grasp, but not hard to enjoy.
They definitely had one major fan — I’d know, because she was screaming in my ear. The girl was going absolutely insane for these guys, which was a little surprising considering the off-kilter nature of this strange vaudeville, gypsy act. By the end of their set, they had convinced most everyone of their skills, and everyone had found a way to dance to their jams.
As entertaining and odd as the openers were, the crowd was ready for Cursive. Once they came out the whole crowd was acting like that one rabid MAN MAN fan. They filled the small venue with rhythm and beats that made everyone sing along. The songs were full of meaning and memories, not just made up stories, but stories we all relate to. Their songs are heavy with emotion that, to some, might be hard to swallow.
The indie rock veterans were in top form on this night, making it a flawless show — that is until their very last song. The excitement level was very high at the time, and a little pit had started. It’s Cursive, not Metallica, and so a pit seemed a little out-of-place. Many on the outskirts of that pit would have to agree because once some of those quietly absorbed fans started getting pushed around, a fight literally broke out in the middle of the floor. Tim Kasher, Cursive’s peaceful front man, stopped the show until the fight was broken up.
Tim said, “Dude, what are you guys doing? That’s just #$%ing weird, dude, just relax.” After Tim set things right, the two guys involved in the altercation went opposite ways and Cursive resumed their last song. The set ended with an emotional, passionate speech about going out there and doing something with your life and about being proud to make something of yourself. It was heartfelt and poignant; got me all choked up. Cursive is not only a band sent to entertain and rock the masses, but they coming bearing inspirational words to boot.