I did some show hopping last Saturday, first catching DC’s premiere instrumental rockers Caverns in their opening set for MD legends Clutch. Spreading their wings on the Main Stage, Caverns seemed a bit lost on the big stage. They definitely work best in smaller venues, but thankfully their massive sound fills out any gaps left untrampled by guitarist (and sole kineticist) Kevin Hilliard’s frantic scrambling and freak-outs all over the stage. Their second time opening for Clutch, they’re no stranger to the tunnel vision that often dominates the minds of many in Clutch’s fanbase. But ever resilient to chants and heckles beckoning for Clutch, they chip away more and more fans as their sound grows ever more massive in their set. Quite possibly the loudest I’ve seen them since Aural States Fest.
They are sure to be even louder tonight at the Hexagon with bastard cousin Solar Powered Sun Destroyer, locals Lexanne and headliners Night Horse.
From there, an abrupt mood and style shift as I headed over to mope territory at the Ottobar with Cursive and Tim Kasher’s emotive yowls headlining, and the ever-effusive Love Language opening. To be brutally honest, I was underwhelmed by Cursive. Progressively more adventurous in their latest efforts, to me they still fall short of capturing lightning in a bottle that was The Ugly Organ, that mixture of catchy, sappy, and adventurous that feels just right. Sad but true. Kasher’s bubbling stew was plenty big, but lacked much punch.
By contrast, openers The Love Language proved even more effusive than my last time seeing them. They are 2 for 2 wowing me with phenomenal live performances and presence.