Cursive/Jeremy Enigk/Fin Fang Foom/The Cops - Nov. 18 - Cats Cradle
Saturday night experimental indie rock was splattered from wall to wall as the Cats Cradle opened its doors to a sold out crowd, waiting to be laid flat by the wall of rock that is Cursive. The show started with a uptempo set by Seattle post-punk outfit The Cops. Playing a set of jumpy punk anthems and flinging themselves across the crowded stage gave the early crowd a taste of the manic energy they would be experiencing most of the night. The Cops also brought with them a special surprise unnoticed by most, as it was never acknowledged by anyone on stage during their set, but they were joined by new bass player Drew Chrurch who is no newcomer to the Cradle stage or the underground rock scene as he has been in the rhythm section of such established bands as the Supersuckers and Hater. Second on the bill was local act Fin Fang Foom who, in my opinion, gave the best musical performance of the night. Where their solemn stage presence lacked in enterntainment, their sweeping melodies, entrancing lyrics, and hypnotic delivery washed over the crowd of 600 with the beauty and style their decade together has earned them. These guys have veteran-indie-rockers written all over them. After a few minutes of tooling around and clearing the stage, Jeremy Enigk came out for a strictly solo performance. It was only him and a guitar and electric piano for 45 minutes. Not to be disrespectful to the former frontman of Sunny Day Real Estate (it truly was an honor to share the room with such a long-time warrior of indie rock) but this is the kind of set that should not follow two entrancing sets and should never be used to warm up a crowd for the locomotive that is Cursive. It was just anticlimactic. Enigk should really either be fist bill on this tour, on his own tour, or should put together a support band to recreate the masterpieces he has written in a live setting. At the end of the night Cursive once again came out to the crowd at the Cats Cradle, and after playing this room year after year throughout the evolution of their career, they played up to it like a hometown crowd, and the love was felt around the room. The sincerity was even acknowledged by frontman Tim Kasher, when he drunkenly stumbled through a midshow thanks/tuning session during which he told everyone he felt honored to be playing a sold-out show at the Cradle and joked that he didn't really know what he was talking about half of the time. Curisve rocked through some of their better tracks from The Ugly Organ and Happy Hollow, and even proved their range and scoring ability by including in nearly the entire set a three piece horn section and a cello player, which really helped build their sound and turn the four-piece into a full-blown indie orchestra for the emotionally juiced sold-out crowd.