Alternative rock station WLUM (FM 102.1) packed the Eagles Ballroom at The Rave in Milwaukee on Dec 2 for their annual Big Snow Show, the first of two this month. The sold-out show featured headliner Cage the Elephant following strong sets by Meg Myers, Vance Joy, Fitz and The Tantrums and Alt-J. Music kicked off just after 7 p.m. and continued well past midnight.
Cage the Elephant recently visited Milwaukee in September while opening for The Black Keys at the Bradley Center. They returned for a highly energetic set in the more intimate confines of The Rave in support of their latest album, "Melophobia." From the opening "Spiderhead," vocalist Matt Shultz was quick to show his dynamic stage presence and joined the crowd before the end of "In One Ear." They rocked a full set that included hits "Cigarette Daydreams" and "Come a Little Closer" from the new album.
While Cage headlined and closed out the night with authority, both Alt-J and Fitz and The Tantrums had equally strong performances as each had their cache of fans in the audience. Indeed, Fitz arguably had the strongest crowd interaction on the night--turning the Eagles Ballroom into a festive dance party highlighted by "MoneyGrabber," "Out of My League" and "The Walker."
Energy oscillated through the course of the night. Meg Myers opened with a short but explosive show before Vance Joy offered a more subdued acoustic performance, finishing strong with his smash, "Riptide." Alt-J was heavy on atmosphere and truly delivered with pin-point percussion that cut through thick electronic jams and Joe Newman's unique vocals. Their sound was crisp--perfectly mixed and resonated with fans who opted for a slow groove during "Tessallate," "Fitzpleasure" and recent hit "Left Hand Free." They finished with fan-favorite "Breezeblocks."
The second Big Snow Show will bring Fall Out Boy, Walk the Moon and Vinyl Theater to Eagles Ballroom on Dec. 16. Tickets are still available at The Rave box office but the show is expected to sell out.