The night was a perfect accumulation of bands, each building on the energy of the performers before them, reaching a climax in the one and a half hour long set by Cage the Elephant. The lighting simply added to this effect, as each new set was accompanied by a ramping up of effects that perfectly matched the dynamism of the performers.
The first band up was Post Animal, who started with a banging rocky number, followed by slightly more mellow tunes. Their strongest performance came when the voices of the four singers came together in a remarkable harmony in some of their songs. Unfortunately, their presence on stage was otherwise unremarkable, as they remained fairly static throughout their performance.
This certainly changed as soon as SWMRS came on stage. The American punk-rock band had an incredible stage presence, epitomised by their frontman Max Becker who knew exactly how to animate the audience. He said that we should all ‘dance like nobody is watching’ and that is certainly what he did, and as he let loose so did the audience, and the mosh pit went wild from their first song.
This energy carried over perfectly into the climactic set put on by Cage the Elephant. Frontman Matt Schultz came onstage clad in full suit, bumbag, no less than two hats and dancing with a green and white umbrella. This intense energy and at times confusing symbolism was carried throughout the set, as the music and dance combined to create a sense of release. This release seemed to be given meaning by Schultz’s ramblings between songs that came together under the theme of ‘love’. If love really was the theme of their set, then Cage the Elephant certainly showed their love for music and audience, because they left all of their energy and inspiration on stage.
The performance delivered exactly what you would expect when you get tickets to a Cage the Elephant gig – endless energy and head banging tunes.
[Kirsty Campbell – she/her – @KirstyCampbell3]