Still riding high on their 2013 release, Melophobia, Cage The Elephant hit Oakland’s Fox Theater along with Foals and J. Roddy Walston & The Business for an hour-plus set of seemingly boundless energy.
Taking the stage by himself and lit only by a purple spot, Nick Bockrath broke into some solo guitar work before the band finally joined him and they launched into “Spiderhead” from Melophobia. Frontman Matthew Shultz teased the front row as if he were about to stage dive but then quickly got down to business. If Cage The Elephant was a car, its acceleration would be 0 to 60 in about 5 seconds flat; before you could blink an eye, Matthew was flying around the stage, Brad Schultz was crowd surfing and the audience was going absolutely bonkers. Clearly not one to be outdone by his brother, Matt perched himself on the edge of the stage during In One Ear, taunting the crowd (and also ensuring that they saw him coming) before taking an epic flyer off the stage.
To say that the crowd was into it simply wouldn’t do justice to the vibe. The entire floor was singing along to every word, erupting when the first strums of “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked” were played and smiling with glee as Matt shook his tail feathers between verses. Clearly the sort of frontman that demands attention, the fans hung on every word as he paused mid-set to say, “very rarely do I have this much fun.” From the looks of things this Tuesday night, the feeling was quite mutual.
If you’re a fan of Melophobia, this was the Cage show for you. During their set, they rolled through a whopping 9 out of the 10 tracks. The inescapable radio hit “Come A Little Closer” pushed things to the edge as the band tried to whip up an already red-lined crowd and Matt exclaimed, “I can feel it in my teeth!” But not to fear, fan favorites from Cage the Elephant and Thank You, Happy Birthday were not ignored.
After Matt gushed a bit more, “This honestly is one of the most fun shows I’ve ever had,” the band got back to business, wrapping the show with “Sabertooth Tiger” during which a shirtless Matt channeled his inner Iggy Pop … effusing oodles of attitude and joining brother Brad in some tandem crowd surfing which landed him in a head stand deep in the crowd.
“Have you ever seen anyone do that before? Have you ever seen anyone do a handstand on a crowd? You have now!”
… and with at it was over and out. A tough act to follow? Undoubtedly! While Cage is wrapping up their tour with Foals on May 22 in Portland, Oregon, there are plenty more live dates on their calendar.
Performing with: Foals, J. Roddy Walston & The Business
- In One Ear
- Take It or Leave It
- Cigarette Daydreams
- Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked
- Back Against the Wall
- Black Widow
- It’s Just Forever
- Come a Little Closer
- Shake Me Down
- Sabertooth Tiger
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