Grammy award-nominated Cage the Elephant are finishing up their US tour in support of their newest album, Tell Me I’m Pretty. I got to chat with guitarist Brad Shultz about touring and their album which can be found here.
Their performance at San Diego’s Valley View Casino Center was a far cry bigger than than last time I saw their tour come through the Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach. And the bigger space really proves that Cage the Elephant not only have a big sound, but they are made for the big stage.
Before they even took the stage, however, the fans were pushing to get a bit closer to the center of where the action would be. Along the catwalk, that jetted out from the middle of the main stage, the barricades were edging closer.
Their set included songs from across their 4 albums. “Cry Baby,” a single from Tell Me I’m Pretty started off the night. From there, it never faltered.
It’s hard to properly describe Matt Shultz as a frontman. His vocals never waver, he never seems out of breath, despite being the human equivalent of the energizer bunny at twice the speed. He is non-stop. Leaping and skipping across the stage, shimmying down the catwalk, bending down to get close to the crowd whose hands are either perpetually outstretched or occupied with taking videos and photos.
Touring guitarist Nick Bockrath found his way down the catwalk to solo while Matt would get to the wings of the stage. The biggest songs of the night, were, of course, their biggest singles. “Ain't No Rest for the Wicked,” one of their first singles, and arguably one of their most popular, and “Mess Around” their recent album’s radio hit were back to back in the middle of the night. “Come a Little Closer,” off of their Grammy-nominated album Melophobia wrapped up their set before they came back for their encore.
As they returned to the stage a couple of people yelled out their request for "Cigarette Daydreams", another Melophobia single. Their requests were granted as Brad grabbed his acoustic guitar and Matt sang at the the front of the catwalk. “Teeth” wrapped up the night as Matt laid down on the catwalk holding the hand of a fan.
By the end of the night, the barricades, like those of Les Miserables, proved not enough to stop the fans from taking them, as they nearly collapsed around the security guards. Cage the Elephant proved they are a band who shows no signs of stopping. Their momentum musically and as performers is still going strong so it’ll be interesting to see where they go from here.