‘Making Friends’ With Cursive at The Glasshouse

‘So, how do you make it seem you’re available without making it seem you’re easy?’ slurred Tim Kasher, lead singer of Cursive, at The Glasshouse in Pomona.
Though his drunken rant about single life as an online dater entertained the sold-out crowd, it was Cursive’s signature raw guitar and cello accompaniment, as well as the addition of a brass section, that made Saturday, Oct. 28 a night to remember.
Kasher’s marital status aside, the concert opened with Eastern Youth, a Japanese singing trio from Tokyo. Youth riveted the crowd with their punk-influenced style. Lead singer Hisashi Yoshino’s soulful chant introductions to ‘Muyonosuke’ and ‘The Reddened Back’ established an emotional connection with observers despite the language barrier. Though tardy, they alleviated the audience’s anxiety and foreshadowed the greatness to come from the headliners.
The momentum took a step back when the second band took the stage.
The Thermals were the only ones who rocked out to their generic, three-chord compositions. Many unenthused spectators in the front row lowered their heads until the Portland, Oregon outfit exited the stage. Though they claimed they were influenced by Jawbreaker, the Ramones and the Misfits, the Thermals’ hackneyed compositions and hysterical vocals were far from groundbreaking.
After a miserable 30-minute wait, the lights dimmed, the crowd pushed forward, and the native Nebraskans took their positions.
Cursive opened their set with their current single ‘Dorothy at 40,’ a song about the onset of adulthood destroying childhood dreams. The crowd sung along word-for-word with Kasher’s agonizing voice. The band immediately transitioned into the recognizable soft guitar intro of ‘Art Is Hard,’ permanently ridding the audience of the jaded demeanor it had acquired during the previous act.
Most of their set list was drawn from their recent albums as well as their highly acclaimed, divorce-therapy release ‘Domestica.’
The gossip of your deepest secrets was presented in ‘Making Friends and Acquaintances’ and ‘The Radiator Hums,’ a song about attempting to keep a faulty marriage afloat. But it was ‘The Martyr,’ with the lyric ‘Your tears are only alibis,’ that had the crowd screaming as if they had just endured a separation.
Songs from ‘The Ugly Organ,’ their 2003 album, escalated crowd dancing despite the limited space. The screeching ‘Some Red-Handed Sleight of Hand,’ the reflective tone of ‘The Recluse’ and the reconciling ‘Sierra’ were some of the songs they pulled out of their seemingly infinite repertoire.
Cursive ended the show with the slow but engaging ‘Big Bang’ from their newly released album ‘Happy Hollow.’ The album is a diatribe against the Christian conservative influence on young minds, as well as an exploration of the world’s constant search to explain its existence.
‘I know this is wrong because I’ve been told this is wrong,’ Kasher sings on ‘Bad Sects,’ which illustrates the band’s issues with religious conformist tendencies.
Cursive proved their extraordinary talent and continued ambition to surpass musical convention.