Blurring the Lines at The Bowery Ballroom

April 4th, 2012

Cursive – The Bowery Ballroom – April 3, 2012

(Photo: Dan Rickershauser)

Sing-alongs are nothing out of the ordinary at a concert. With a room full of devoted fans, it’s somewhat expected that a few songs will elicit some singing from the audience. But sing-alongs at Cursive shows take on a unique form of their own, with the crowd mouthing along to the drama of singer Tim Kasher’s every last word. With favorites like “A Gentlemen Caller,” “A Red So Deep,” “Driftwood: A Fairy Tale” and “The Recluse,” the singing audience at times seemed loud enough to overpower the group leading them.

It must be a strange thing for a band to experience, to be led by a hundred or so people singing their hundred different interpretations of what your songs mean to them. It’s a welcomed blurring of that imaginary boundary between the stage and audience, the artist and the fans. After about 10 or so songs, the guys in Cursive finally took a moment to introduce themselves. “Sorry we had to blaze through so many songs before we said hello,” said Kasher, although there was no need for an apology.

After seven albums and more than 15 years together, the small band from Omaha, Neb., has become an indie-rock dignitary of sorts, one that has amassed a large and devoted following. Kasher explained that before coming onstage the band was hashing out the details to a horror movie they would call Santorum. He also said it might make for a good heavy-metal band name, which led the audience to start chanting “San-to-rum! San-to-rum!” Last night was the first of two Cursive shows at The Bowery Ballroom, and even after a four-song encore, the audience still wanted more. There’s a pretty good chance many in that crowd will get it tonight. —Dan Rickershauser

(Tonight’s Cursive show at The Bowery Ballroom is sold out.)