Photos and Review By: Amanda Martinek

This is a bold statement, but Cage the Elephant is one of the best live bands ever. Or at least, that I’ve ever seen. And they never, ever disappoint. Six long-haired, scraggly dudes sauntered onto the Belly Up stage on Monday night and it was as if rock and roll has been born again.

Cage started their set with “Spiderhead”, a single off their latest album Melophobia, and quickly exploded into a flash of energy, including dance and fancy feet moves for days. I would honestly be very surprised if the lead singer Matt Shultz wasn’t either on some type of upper or possessed by the devil, the way he jumped and shook and grooved throughout the performance.

One of my favorite things about Cage the Elephant is that EVERY member of the band screams EVERY lyric, like their lives depend on it. And in doing so, the crowd is screaming the songs right along with them. They played through favorites off their three records, putting popular songs like “Ain’t No Rest For the Wicked” next to slower new jams like “Cigarette Daydreams”.

In between tracks, Shultz starts mumbling funny musings to the crowd, claiming he never knows what he’s going to say before he gets on stage:

“I really love all you guys. But the truth is, I really want you all to love me. The real truth is I’m actually a pretty shy guy. This is basically a 1-hour therapy session for me to get over my stage fright. I think we just made a break-through!”

“After the show, let’s all go down to the beach, start a fire, and burn everything’s that’s important to us! I’m kidding, let’s not do that. Especially if you have children. DO NOT THROW YOUR CHILDREN IN THE FIRE.”

The band left the stage in typical fashion with everyone screaming “Encore!” They reappeared playing the crowd favorite “Shake Me Down”. At one point during this song:

1) Matt was on top of the crowd, floating to the middle and being raised up to hold the disco ball

2) Guitarist Brad Shultz was shredding not even a foot away from me

3) Two drunk girls went into full brawl mode and started beating the shit out of each other.

It was completely chaotic and overwhelming, in the best way possible. And that’s probably the best way to sum up any Cage the Elephant show.