Monday, February 22, 2010

Live review, photos, setlist: Cage the Elephant

Posted By on Mon, Feb 22, 2010 at 3:15 PM

Cage the Elephant with As Tall As Lions, Morning Teleportation

Amos' Southend

Feb. 21, 2010


The Deal: Kentucky-based rockers entertain large crowd with high-energy live show.


The Good: The night started off with a brief set by Oregon's Morning Teleportation. The band plays a brand of psychedelic rock. No idea on their ages, but they sure did look young. It sounded like they were more proficient as musicians and the singing (and screaming) was added in later. With a little more polish, there might be something there. I'd give 'em a second shot... if I was in the right mood.


Long Island-based As Tall As Lions was next up. They had some good rhythms in their brand of sleepy indie rock and it's no surprise the band is starting to get its name out there more and more these days. The bassist, Julio Tavarez, really gets into it and hardly stand still for long. It's another one of those hook-free indie rock bands that you think is good, but fails to leave something memorable in its music when they're done.


Clearly, most in the young crowd were there to hear the headliner. Cage the Elephant hit the stage and from the opening notes, singer Matt Shultz was a Tasmanian devil full convulsions and energy that never really calmed down at any point during the set.

The band kicked off with "Dr. Dr. Dr." before going into two songs of its self-titled debut album, "Tiny Little Robots" and "Lotus." Shultz found time to jump to the floor and then into the crowd on multiple ocassions — though on later trips, he'd simply leap the six-foot gap to the barricade and crowd beyond it. It's no surprise that Shultz had had multiple injuries during previous shows.

The band wasn't much for talk between songs, instead rifling through song after song without the energy dying down. The crowd clearly knew the singles — "Ain't No Rest for the Wicked," "In One Ear" and "Back Against the Wall" — more than other songs, but it didn't stop them from crowd surfing and opening up a mosh pit in the middle of the floor. The live versions of songs have a different level of energy and emotion behind them. While the band is mostly laid back, it's Shultz that's the focus of the crowd's attention and he feeds off of every moment.


The show culminated in an amazingly intense encore that started with "In One Ear" and led into "Saber Tooth Tiger." Shultz danced his way around the stage before eventually ending up in the crowd again. While crowd surfing, he made his way up to his knees where he proceeded to let loose gutteral screams while folding in half, red-faced. He got back to the stage as the band members left and fell to his knees to shred some feedback-heavy guitar riffs while his body throbbed with every strum over the guitar on the stage floor. After a minute or two, a physically exhausted Shultz stood, waved and walked off...

The Bad: That Cage didn't play for longer, but I'm not sure they could... though I would have liked to hear "Judas." With so much put into their live performance, you can't help but wonder, how long can Shultz keep doing this, and can he survive it?

The Verdict: One of those must-see live performances that scares you for the singer's well-being, intrigues with its off the wall antics and entices with good, raw energetic music. It's hard to take your eyes off the band, especially singer Shultz. See this band live!


Cage the Elephant setlist

Dr. Dr. Dr.

Tiny Little Robots



Back Against the Wall


Back Stabbin Betty

Japanese Buffalo

Indie Kids

Ain't No Rest for the Wicked

Free Love


In One Ear

Saber Tooth Tiger

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