Cage the Elephant has had a pretty successful year. What with the critically acclaimed album "Melophonia" released earlier this year, their appearance on late night with Jimmy Kimmel Live last week and a very successful tour to boot.
They are winding up this leg of their tour in support of their third album and performed at Pop’s Nightclub in Sauget, IL (across the river from St. Louis) on Monday night and brought with them a vibe few bands can bring.
Lead singer Matthew Shultz strolled out casually and slowly almost like he was shy. However, when he reached the mic the switch turned on inside him and didn’t shut off for the rest of the show.
He was electric, engaging, magnetic and energetic, to say the least. Shultz hardly stood still for nary a second, and when he did it was mainly to address the rabid throng who jammed Pop’s to catch one of their famed live performances.
This performance did not disappoint, even at the end of the tour as they belted through favorites like “No Rest for the Wicked” and “In One Ear” enticing the crowd with laden hooks, smooth bass lines and catchy choruses.
That alone would be enough for many bands but Shultz’s onstage persona is worth the price of admission in itself as he evokes an eerie comparison to an early Mick Jagger, gyrating around the stage in a very unpredictable manner, and letting his body move with the music.
The rest of the band (including guitarist Matt Shultz, bassist Daniel Tichenor and guitarist Jaron Champion) was solid, spot on and tight, as they should be at the end of a tour. Flowing through songs like “Black Widow” and “Come a Little Closer” and “Teeth” in an effortless fashion and leaving nothing behind, the band was able to lead the crowd through much crowd surfing and general full out release of energy.
Shultz said about the venue “So, I heard Pop’s is legendary.” After their performance there, it became even more.
British band Foals held the supporting role with a vivid performance that included "Inhaler" and "My Number" in a modern sound with a British New Wave hook. The band (Vocalist/guitarist Yannis Philippakis, bassist Walter Gervers, guitarist Jimmy Smith, drummer Jack Bevan and keyboardist Edwin Congreave) was also very tight and had the crowd actively behind them their whole set.
Not to be left out in the mix of strong bands on the bill the band Ume (pronounced OOH MAY) from Austin, TX won over many fans with their highly charged set that features guitarist/lead singer Lauren Larson, bassist Eric Larson and drummer Rachel Fuhrer.
Lauren Larson whipped more hair than many heavy metal concerts do for an entire show. The best way to describe their sound is think The Joy Formidable but with a heavier attitude, and a lead vocalist who, while she has that sweet girl next door charm, gave the impression that if you piss her off she could kick your ass, and that's a good thing. This is certainly one band you should check out live.
1) Spider Head
2) In One Ear
4) Take it or Leave it
6) Back Against the Wall
7) Black Widow
8) Indy kidz
11) Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked
12) Come a Little Closer
13) Shake Me Down
14) Saber Tooth Tiger
2) Total Life
3) My Number
6) Red Sox Pugie
Ume Setlist (Per written setlist onstage)
1) The Conductor
2) Bass Face
4) Slow Pog
5) On the On
7) Chase it Down
8) Black Stone