Although I would describe myself as a total music fanatic in every way shape and form, I will admit that my record of live experiences is very limited!
On Tuesday 27th June I was fortunate enough to have been offered a press pass which meant free entry to see the one and only Cage The Elephant play at the Rock City venue in Nottingham! I also admit that by this point I had not listened to a great deal of the band however I had heard a number of their songs prior to the gig which I had definitely loved!
I wasn’t particularly sure how the band would come across live as I was not particularly familiar with their studio material but I can say that this single live experience had completely changed my perception of how I could experience music.
The band opened with the jovial ‘Cry Baby’ – a track which perfectly blended a classic 60’s Beatlesque sound with their own signature modern indie-rock flavour that had made them so globally popular. Although the entire performance was fantastic it was lead singer Matt Shultz who really elevated the song with his tremendously visceral vocals and Jagger-like energy on stage. From this first performance I was hooked!
If I was impressed by the first track, it was really the follow-up ‘In One Ear’ from their eponymous debut that really got myself and the crowd moving. Shultz’ ability to combine powerful rock vocals with an almost hip-hop influenced lyrical wordplay that furthered my interest in the band.
The energy between the band and the audience maintained throughout, peaking with their signature track ‘Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked’ which wreaked a havoc of excitement in the crowd. The band then played equally ecstatic songs like ‘It’s Just Forever’ and ‘Punchin’ Bag’ before approaching a more introspective turn with tracks like ‘Cigarette Daydreams’ and ‘Shake Me Down’ which visibly resonated with the audience.
The band then returned for an encore of ‘Teeth’ – a track that could be described as a combination of drum and bass with raw Iggy Pop proto-punk. Lead singer Matt Shultz used this track as an opportunity to completely let loose, thereby lifting the microphone stand on top of his head and then throwing it back down; whilst dropping the mic in the process! He then swam through the crowd whilst the security stood trepidatiously for his arrival back to the stage.
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