photos by Greg Cristman

"just saw someone get stabbed at a Cursive show so that's a first" - Hilary Pollack

Cursive @ Bowery Ballroom - 3/10/2015
Cursive
Cursive
Cursive

"It's nice to be playing with Gretta again after all these years," Cursive frontman Tim Kasher announced in a rare bit of onstage banter last night at New York's Bowery Ballroom. He was, of course, referring to former band member Gretta Cohn, the cellist responsible for the sweeping dramatics that dominate the band's seminal 2003 album, The Ugly Organ, which saw its reissue late last year and finds Cursive on a brief tour in support of it.

To the diehard fans, the return of Cohn is significant. To promote The Ugly Organ's re-release, a strings player has been accompanying the Omaha band on select dates, but the New York shows specifically heralded the return of the original cellist. It was a bit of nostalgia as welcome as the songs themselves, as the set played heavily off The Ugly Organ but touched on the group's full catalog. [Village Voice]

In support of the recently reissued The Ugly Organ, Cursive are on tour playing the whole thing, and the tour currently has them in NYC where they're in the midst of a three-show run. So far they've played Bowery Ballroom on Tuesday (3/10) and again last night (3/11), and they wrap things up at Saint Vitus tonight (3/12). All three are/were sold out.

We caught the first night at Bowery, and as the review above points out, the NYC shows have Cursive joined by Gretta Cohn, the cellist who was in Cursive during the Ugly Organ era. They're choosing not to play the album in order, but they did play every song from it, as well as two outtakes from that era that appear as bonus tracks on the reissue, "Excerpts From Various Notes Strewn Around the Bedroom of April Connolly, Feb. 24, 1997" (originally on their 8 Teeth to Eat You split with Eastern Youth) and "Nonsense" (originally on Saddle Creek 50). For the rest of the set, they played at least one song from the rest of their '00s and '10s albums, including "The Martr," "Dorothy at Forty," "Sink to the Beat" and more. Plus, they did a seemingly-unplanned partial cover of Temple of the Dog's "Hunger Strike," for which an audience member came on stage to help Tim out with the lyrics (video below).

Beach Slang
Beach Slang

Opening the show was one of 2014's best new bands and recent Polyvinyl signees Beach Slang, as well as The Nighty Nite, the band of producer John Congleton, who's been behind the boards for recent albums by Angel Olsen, Cloud Nothings, Swans, St. Vincent and more. Pictures of all three bands are in this post.

Though the show was great, there was an unfortunate side to the night too. Someone got stabbed after the show. Animal New York writes, "An NYPD spokesperson confirmed to ANIMAL that a 23-year-old man was taken into custody late last night in front of the Bowery Ballroom, located at 6 Delancey Street on the Lower East Side. He had stabbed a 31-year-old man in the rear right thigh during a dispute. The weapon was recovered at the scene."

More pictures, the "Hunger Strike" video, and Cursive's setlist from night 1, below...

---

John Congleton and The Nighty Nite

John Congleton and The Nighty Nite
John Congleton and The Nighty Nite
John Congleton and The Nighty Nite
John Congleton and The Nighty Nite
John Congleton and The Nighty Nite
John Congleton and The Nighty Nite
John Congleton and The Nighty Nite
John Congleton and The Nighty Nite
John Congleton and The Nighty Nite
John Congleton and The Nighty Nite
John Congleton and The Nighty Nite
John Congleton and The Nighty Nite
John Congleton and The Nighty Nite
John Congleton and The Nighty Nite

Beach Slang

Beach Slang
Beach Slang
Beach Slang
Beach Slang
Beach Slang
Beach Slang
Beach Slang
Beach Slang
Beach Slang
Beach Slang
Beach Slang
Beach Slang
Beach Slang
Beach Slang
Beach Slang
Beach Slang

Cursive

Cursive
Cursive
Cursive
Cursive
Cursive
Cursive
Cursive
Cursive
Cursive
Cursive
Cursive
Cursive
Cursive
Cursive
Cursive
Cursive

Cursive @ Bowery Ballroom - 3/10/15 Setlist: (via)
Sink to the Beat
Big Bang
The Ugly Organist
Some Red Handed Sleight of Hand
Art Is Hard
From the Hips
The Recluse
This House Alive
Herald! Frankenstein
Butcher the Song
Driftwood: A Fairy Tale
Tall Tales, Telltales
The Martyr
Excerpts From Various Notes Strewn Around the Bedroom of April Connolly, Feb. 24, 1997
A Gentleman Caller
Harold Weathervein
Bloody Murderer
Nonsense
Dorothy at Forty
Hunger Strike (Temple of the Dog cover)
Sierra
Staying Alive