June 23, 2016 – On the eve of the biggest party weekend San Francisco has to offer, it might have been odd for some to look up at the marquee at the Bill Graham and see Cage the Elephant headlining with Portugal. The Man. However, if one had witnessed the love and happiness that comes from these two indie rock bands, they would understand.
Having gained cult status for their nearly annual releases of new music (aside from Evil Friends), Portugal. The Man is always one to change up their style and keep it fresh for their fans. Although PTM has always had a fondness for hip-hop, the addition of a Hype Man was an odd change of pace. However, with Gourley sporting a new streamlined look complete with buzzed hair and white pajamas, PTM would surely not disappoint. Working through a collection of tracks from their last album Evil Friends, PTM knew exactly how to keep the crowd engaged. Even though Portugal’s set was less drug infused and acid trip than it usually is, the Portland group finished strong with one of their top songs “Purple, Yellow, Red, and Blue.”
After an extensive intermission (30+ minutes), Cage The Elephant finally came on stage. Starting off the night with “Cry Baby” from their latest release Tell Me I’m Pretty, which had vocalist (and resident dancer) Matthew Shultz bouncing back and forth from one side of the stage to the next. This set the tone and the pace for the rest of the night. With over 90 minutes of high-energy pop-rock songs like “Take It Or Leave It” and “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked” the crowd was going nuts. It wasn’t until Cage started in on “Punching Bag” though that the first crowd surfer made their way to the security guards waiting arms. As the night came to a close, Cage The Elephant re-emerged from the safety of their “encore pause” and was met with an astounding applause. They proceeded to lay down “Cigarette Dreams”, “Shake Me Down” and “Teeth” and left their fans satisfied and exhausted.