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Wednesday, June 19, 2024
The independent student publication of The University at Buffalo, since 1950

A Cursive Spell

Thrashing bodies, trembling arms punching the stale air, flickering strobe lights, and enduring music took over the atmosphere, creating a trance-like spell throughout the venue.

Cursive, along with openers Cymbals Eat Guitars and Conduits, performed for a sold out crowd at Mohawk Place last Friday night, to the excitement of the audience.

Cursive entered the stage in full force, ready to measure up to the audience's roaring applause, and wasted no time immediately beginning their set.

They began their set promoting their new album, I Am Gemini, and wasted no time playing the first track, "The House Alive."

Frontman Tim Kasher looked intensely and wide-eyed into the audience, stroking his hand against his cheek and throat, as if he were revealing deep secrets to the audience. As the most endearing member of the band, the concertgoers immediately responded to the music and his lyrical story, with bodies whipping and singing to every word.

"My favorite part of the show was just the atmosphere of the entire thing," said Tom Goergen, 25, of Buffalo. "The crowd gets really into shows that they know about. Cursive's been here multiple times so there's continuity between the crowd and the band...I want that to continuously happen for multiple concerts and bands."

Cursive continued its set with "Big Bang" off of Happy Hollow, proving that they were going to perform a mix of their songs to please each generation of Cursive fans. The band's set went from songs with hard, pulsating riffs and beats, to slow and forceful quiet songs, proving their transcendence of genres as well.

The audience punched the air on dynamic beats as if it was a part of the added instrumentation, and Patrick Newbery added minor chord intensity with his overpowering trumpet playing.

Throughout Cursive's set, fans in the center of the crowd produced an almost pit-like atmosphere ignited by Kasher's strength in performance, and a contagious domino effect of pushing bodies outward until the majority of the attendees followed suit.

After a 90-minute set, Cursive closed the show with an encore "Art Is Hard."

"I think they're one of the few bands that are just talented musicians all around," said Lauren Ciarpelli, 23 of Buffalo. "Not one person shines above the other, it's really equal. Tim's voice is super strange but works for what they're doing, and their guitar playing is phenomenal...and the bass playing isn't just playing along with drummer, it's got its own thing going...I really respect them as musicians above being a great band."

Opening for Cursive was five-piece outfit Conduits, from Cursive's hometown of Omaha, Neb., and the bands even shared member Patrick Newbery, who played synth and keys for both bands. Conduits immediately asserted their place in Mohawk's tightly packed venue, with the audience crowding in front of them, as if they were headlining.

Conduits' music consisted of a mix of slow rock combined with rhythmically dynamic maracas and tom-toms rising to importance during their set, juxtaposing the lead into the flowing synthesized music.

Cymbals Eat Guitars, a four-piece experimental outfit from New York City, featured frontman Joseph D'Agostino's melodic voice layered over dominant drum beats.

D'Agostino's soft vocals perfectly aligned with the synthesizer, the interlude into a heavily percussive set, adding to the strength in the band's sound with the echo he created through the use of wham guitar.

The performances of the evening left audience members wanting more underground bands to come to Buffalo and prove that non-mainstream bands are talented and popular.

Email: arts@ubspectrum.com


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