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Cursive / Darkest Hour / Decahedron

Cursive / Darkest Hour / Decahedron: live in Washington, DClive in Washington, DC (2004)
Saddle Creek Records

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: Chad Brown
(others by this writer | submit your own)

You know, it's sad. We live in America, where voting is a right, and kids are more concerned with who makes it to the next round of American Idol than who gets elected as President... And with that, Mike Park, the man behind the successful Plea for Peace tour, kicked things off with his annual s.



You know, it's sad. We live in America, where voting is a right, and kids are more concerned with who makes it to the next round of American Idol than who gets elected as President...

And with that, Mike Park, the man behind the successful Plea for Peace tour, kicked things off with his annual solo acoustic yet. Before this show, I knew who Park was, but had never been exposed to his music. While I can honestly say I wasn't missing much, I have an insane amount of respect for the guy, simply for everything he does for the scene, and getting kids to vote. The girl I attended the show with described Park as "the Asian John Mayer." While that might be the worst comparison I've ever heard, I let it slide, and focused on Mike's opening set, which lasted about half an hour. Things didn't really pick up, however, until his last two songs, "Blue Marble" and "Don't sit next to me (just cause I'm Asian)." Park's unintentional sense of humor, and great message forced me to enjoy his set. The laughter and buzz of kids around me relayed the message that everybody else felt the same way.

A short break followed, which allowed me to explore the 930 Club a bit. First thing I noticed is that kids are treated a lot better in DC than back in my hometown of Richmond, Virginia. Unlike AlleyKatz, free water is distributed to those scenesters who occupy the pit, and a nice range of food is offered. But the biggest difference between 930 and any Richmond club: they're on time. They let kids in the doors as advertised, and the bands began on time. AlleyKatz, take note. Please.

Now, back to the action.

Or lack thereof.

Being a Richmond native, I was pretty bummed upon finding out that Denali would not only be absent from this year's Plea for Peace, but they had broken up as well. But instead of getting a solid replacement, we got....Decahedron. Now, I've seen a lot of bad bands in my day. And honestly, I didn't think anybody could top the awful tendencies of "Year of the Rabbit" who opened for Thursday last fall. But congrats Decahedron, you guys ripped the award from their fingertips. I'm not even sure where to begin for these guys. Every song sounded the same, there was no beats, melodies, or hooks. It was just noise. Plain and simple. And the lead singer only made it worse, trying to shove his ‚??be punk and vote against Bush' views down our throat any chance he got. But the audience wouldn't be fooled by his antics, as half the crowd headed to the merch table/bathrooms/outside/upstairs during their set. Even the band's "grand finale," which included a planned leap into the crowd, was a bomb. Where in God's name is Denali when you need them?

Hometown metal heroes Darkest Hour were up next, and being a rather skinny kid, I headed upstairs to the 2nd level, for a great view of not only the entire stage, but the floor as well. And since metal isn't really my thing, that's what I ended up paying the most attention to: the floor. Since the floor at 930 is about 10 times larger than anything in Richmond, I'd never seen a dance pit so large as the one that formed as soon as Darkest Hour's first riff hit our ears. At least 30 or 40 kids were dancing, thrashing, kicking, and punching at the same time; some of those kicks and punches missed other pit participants by only inches. Needless to say, I was amazed. Not that I'd never seen a dance pit before. I'd just never seen a Washington DC pit before.

Oh, right. The music.

Like I said, I'm not into metal. So Darkest Hour really wasn't my thing, but I will say that they kept me entertained with their on-stage presence. They really do put on a great live show. I couldn't catch any song titles, but they did play quite a few "old songs," which sounded similar to the "new ones," but I digress. Darkest Hour's performance was solid, whether you're into metal, or not.

As soon as DH exited the stage, kids pushed forward, and the 2nd level evened out, as most kids headed downstairs for the headliner, Cursive. And just as the clock struck 11, we were greeted by Tim Kasher and company, who would proceed to flip the nation's capital upside down for the next hour and a half.

This was my 2nd time seeing Cursive live. They wow'ed me the first time, and they did the same during the 2nd go-round. Anybody you talk to will tell you that Cursive puts on one of the best live shows in the scene, whether you're a fan or not. Tim Kasher's voice is simply mesmerizing, and every note is hit perfectly. The band doesn't sound exactly like they do on their records, but add more of a special touch, making for a great performance, without overdoing it.

During the first few minutes of the set, a few Darkest Hour fans were heckling Cursive up front. Cellist Gretta Cohn took matters into her own hands, getting up in the kids face and screaming at them, before security escorted them away. Seeing that look of death in Gretta's eyes was one of the scariest things I've seen since my eyes first caught glimpse of the Hanson brothers. After the dramatic episode, Kasher went on a great tangent, pointing out the diversity of shows, and adding that "I'm sure Cursive fans thought Darkest Hour was useless noise. And I'm sure Darkest Hour fans think Cursive kids are pansies." So true . Honestly kids, can't we just all get along?

Cursive promised to play older material on this tour, and they were true to their word. Their set included at least one song from every one of their releases, which kept the 930 club enthralled from start to finish. Included in the set was Fairy Tales Tell Tales, Gentlemen Caller, The Recluse, and two new songs that kicked major ass. Towards the end of the set, Tim invited a fan up on stage to sing "The Martyr," which turned out to be an awesome experience, just watching the kid rock out with Cursive on stage. After a few more, including "Tall tales, Telltales," the quintet exited the stage, leaving the audience, as always, begging for more.

After a short break, Cursive returned for an encore, which included an incredibly original cover of Kelis' "Milkshake," which most fans didn't even recognize until the chorus. Hearing Tim Kasher sing about how his milkshake is better than yours, with a cello in the background was worth the ticket price alone. Cursive followed up by ripping through a few more songs, including Sierra and their best known song, Art is Hard, both of which sounded incredible live.

Cursive wrapped things up with "Some Red Handed Sleight of Hand," the 2nd track off the epic Ugly Organ. Somehow, closing with a song that includes "and now we proudly present, songs perverse and songs of lament, a couple hymns of confession, songs that recognize our sick obsessions, sing along, I'm on the ugly organ," seemed oddly appropriate. Because for the past hour and a half, 1200 kids had been riding high on the Ugly Organ, and weren't ready to quit just yet. And maybe that's because the ride was filled with attractions that were crammed with energy and emotion, that have become trademark for any Cursive show.

If you've never seen this band live, I'm not sure what to tell you. Love them or hate them, Cursive's live show will rape you. Or at least Gretta will.

Overall, I wasn't into the 2 middle bands, but Mike Park was decent, and Cursive surpassed any expectations. The absence of Denali was unfortunate, and I believe any number of political-driven bands, such as Strike Anywhere or Thursday, could have been added to the bill, or at least replaced Denali, to make the hours before Cursive a little more bearable.

 


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (February 9, 2005)

actually DC clubs in general are a lot better than any Richmond clubs that I have been to.
I was at this show, and given my somewhat 'weird' taste in music I enjoyed Decahedron and the Good Life both, the latter a little more though. Greta yielling at those kids was an awesome experience since I have never seen a celloist snap at anyone before. Overrall a good show, but not the best Cursive show I have seen.

Anonymous (May 14, 2004)

Score for the review

the only thing i don't like about the 9:30 club, is that it's like 20 mins. Off of 395. As far as nation goes, it's like 5 mins off of 395. I'd rather be out of the ghetto in 5 mins. Than 20. But a show is a show.

Anonymous (May 12, 2004)

I saw this show last night and it blew me away! Decahedron played the best show I've ever seen and they asked me to get on stage and sing with them on the last song. It totally kicked ass! Oh, and the other bands were pretty good too....

Anonymous (May 10, 2004)

i was at this show, and i gotta disagree. i love cursive, but they did not put on a good live show at all. you could even see the crowd wasn't getting all that into them. i expected a lot more out of them, but alas i was let down.

Anonymous (May 10, 2004)

shut up and stop actin so pissy... you sound like an asshole hipster.

sickboi (May 10, 2004)

And for fuck's sake, how many times did you talk about being from Richmond in that review? Jesus Christ, even I'm not that bad.

Denali broke up, rad. To quote a wise man:

"One more for the good guys..."

sickboi (May 10, 2004)

You make me ashamed to be a Richmonder, you fucking dork. I bet you are one of those lame-ass kids with the greasy black mop that block up traffic on Cary St with your goofy Italian 10-speed. Next time you get in my way going through Cary and Boulevard I'm running your bitch-ass over. Then you'll have a REAL reason to cry. Loser.

Anonymous (May 10, 2004)

all these new cursive fans really piss me off. they arent open minded at all. how can you not appreciate decahedron? they are great musicians. you probably never even heard of frodus or fugazi though, hehe.

and seriously, ive seen cursive 5 times over the course of the last couple years and the last thing that i would call that band is amazing live. they were pretty cool up untill ugly organ came out and now they kinda suck. i guess i can only take so much of tim kashers lyrics.

Anonymous (May 9, 2004)

"For a good review of the same show, go here:http: www.411mania.com/music/con..blah blah.."

This review was almost the same in complete lameness. It sucked too except tha tit sucked AFTER this one. So it was like a shitty ripoff of a shitty review. Fuck you!

Kenjamin (May 9, 2004)

wow, what i wrote below is probably the gayest thing i've ever said. Decahedron's music was good. I'll leave it at that.

Kenjamin (May 9, 2004)

Thursday kind of plagiarized "Autobiography of a Nation" so I can't really give it to them as a political song. Decahedron left a good taste in my mouth. He was a strange man. Mike Park also made me "smile real big." Cursive rocked and played old stuff too, Got to respect that.

GreenVandal (May 9, 2004)

Thursday is about as political as a 7 foot tall snaggle toothed cry baby mongoloid who yelps instead of sings.

Translation?

NO

boldredletters (May 9, 2004)

i saw cursive two or three years ago and they really sucked. i saw them in november and they were great. i think they are a hit or miss band, like most great live acts.

and, its funny that you wanted to see denali and you call decahedron boring...

Anonymous (May 9, 2004)

"darkest hour metal? i dont think so"
youre wrong asshat

Anonymous (May 9, 2004)

get to cursive and planes mistaken for stars in a few weeks. nothing can top that line u p

Anonymous (May 9, 2004)

darkest hour is a metal band, plain and simple. they might have hardcore roots but when i hear songs from so sedated, so secure, the first and only thought that pops into my head is metal.

Anonymous (May 8, 2004)

um yeah
darkest hour is metal
and ONE political song doesn't make your band political

Anonymous (May 8, 2004)

darkest hour metal? i dont think so

pastepunk (May 8, 2004)

That's a good show review? Darkest Hour features From Autumn to Ashes guitar licks? Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.....

Anonymous (May 8, 2004)

Decent review, but you named some songs that Cursive didn't actually play (Tall Tales Telltales? Nuh-uh) and you totally fucked up the order of events (The Martyr was the next-to-last song of the night). Also, you sounded like you'd never been to a concert before.

For a good review of the same show, go here:

http://www.411mania.com/music/concerts/article.php?conce rts_id=93

Anonymous (May 8, 2004)

Decahedron is the best band out there right now. PERIOD. Shelby Cinca, Joe Lally, and Jason Hamacher? It doesn't get any better than that. Check out www.decahedron.net if you have any doubts for a free music video and song.

Anonymous (May 8, 2004)

Joe Lally isn't in Decahedron anymore.

But they are ex-Frodus and Roadside Monument.

Anonymous (May 8, 2004)

decahedron = guy from fucking FUGAZI, asshole.

Anonymous (May 8, 2004)

what an awesome review made by an awesome person err... decahedron SUCKED, Cursive rocked, mike park was funny... and who ever questioned thursday being political.. seriously... please go read the lyrics to autobiography of a nation. dumbass

logan (May 8, 2004)

That was a really great review. Most reviews that I read on this site, I skim through most of it and don't really pay attention to what they really have to say.

I'm blabbering..

Good stuff. Cursive sure do rock.

thriceequalsgod (May 8, 2004)

sounds like an awesome show

Anonymous (May 7, 2004)

attn darkest hour fans:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=4011507187&c ategory=46498&sspagename=STRK:MESSE:IT&rd=1

get a piece of this hot stuff

Anonymous (May 7, 2004)

*concurs with the guy talking about the SOIA pit*

Anonymous (May 7, 2004)

Decahedron put on a great show. I actually like them better live than on cd and Darkest Hour was fucking amazing. I used to love Crusive but I like them on cd more but the show was good.

GreenVandal (May 7, 2004)

Speaking of unintentional humor....

"for the past hour and a half, 1200 kids had been riding high on the Ugly Organ, and weren‚??t ready to quit just yet. And maybe that‚??s because the ride was filled with attractions that were crammed with energy and emotion"

Ha I say.

Anonymous (May 7, 2004)

You got it all wrong, Darkest Hour owned the entire night and im not one of those crazy darkest hour funs, im a fucking emo pussy, but cursive let me down a bit but they were still awesome

flummo (May 7, 2004)

I like how everyone's bashing the author because his taste and theirs aren't equal. Fact was it was an entertaining review, whether you agree with the musical taste or not. Better than most of the reviews on this site, which may be shorter, but I can't even get through them for complete lack of interest. Good job, I say.

notfeelingcreative (May 7, 2004)

Saw this show last night, decahedron knocked me on my ass, and darkest hour were amazing as well, cursive was cursive and mike park was mike park.

Anonymous (May 7, 2004)

Man. What a shitty review.

Mike Park's humor is always intentional. He's a funny guy.

And maybe you should seen John Mayer rather than Decahedron. It might have suited you better.

Anonymous (May 7, 2004)

Thursday a political band?

pastepunk (May 7, 2004)

No free food at 930, but it's not bad stuff, and not too expensive. 930 Club is a great venue in DC, especially for shows that draw like at least 600 kids. It has an incredible sound system that's well balanced no matter where you are. It's a shame you didn't care for Decahedron, I think they're one of the best things to come out of the DC area in a little while, and hopefully they will spark some interest again for Frodus, who were epic in their years. My favorite pit watch at 930 was when SICK OF IT ALL played there when they were on tour with the DROPKICK MURPHYS. That was pretty fucking intense.

Anonymous (May 7, 2004)

i saw cursive with small brown bike at the metro in chicago march of 2003 and cursive covered T.A.T.U.

Anonymous (May 7, 2004)

I really liked your review. Most people bitch when people describe things other than music, but I for one like being able to get a better sense of the entire show.

They serve free food at shows in DC? They most I've ever gotten is free water bottles at the Glasshouse (CA) occasionally.

Anonymous (May 7, 2004)

yeah, sorry about the length. i tend to ramble when i write, and this was no exception.

my bad..

Anonymous (May 7, 2004)

that shit was long.

7Thereislifeinthis7 (May 7, 2004)

well written review, gotta give em that, but hating decahedron? and not getting into Darkest Hour? Jeez man, lighten up and have some fun at a show, it won't kill you.

inagreendase (May 7, 2004)

Long but good review. It also made me even more angrier at myself for missing the Boston show.

Although, I'm not sure if Thursday would've opened for Cursive...

funkisdead (May 7, 2004)

Fuck this guy, Dodecahedron rock.

MarkieStabone (May 7, 2004)

man i saw decahedron in charlottesville a few weeks ago with q and not u and i thought they kicked ass. the album isn't nearly as good, though.

sloppyblake (May 7, 2004)

best review on this site in a long time. i like your style. keep reviewing.

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