Photos by Ashley Matheson
It couldn’t have been set up any better, the Great American Music Hall as the background to a night laden with blaring trumpet, ecstatic guitar chords, and harmoniously flailing vocals. For three hours I was given the privilege of experiencing firsthand, the power of Cursive, Mt. Saint Helens Vietnam Band, and unfortunately only the last bit of Box Elders‘ set.
Mt. Saint Helens gave a tightly woven performance at a bargain price. Frontman Benjamin’s bushy hair and guitar shredding gave the band the quality of madmen, jumping from quick poppy guitar licks to toned down ballads of rim-clicks and floating vocal chords. By the end of the set, most couldn’t help but dance, especially to tracks like “Cheer for Fate.”
Cursive took the stage to an amazingly diverse crowd of enthusiastic and curious concert-goers. It was at this moment that I realized one of Cursive’s most peculiar qualities: the ability to capture a wide range of imaginations. The set started off quickly and smoothly, transitioning from one hit to another.
The crowd really started moving once “Sierra” came rolling off the stage. Familiar tunes rang throughout the night, such as “Gentleman Caller” and “The Great Decay”. But perhaps the most memorable moment of the set was Kasher’s four-to-five minute solo vocal expedition, laying his soul for all to see. Taking no complement from any instrument other than his own voice, Kasher was obviously in another world. Cursive lived up to their name and even left room for bigger expectations, their sound becoming more expansive and experimental over time.
Mt. Saint Helens Vietnam Band: