Cage The Elephant
"March 4, 2010"

Cage The Elephant - March 4, 2010

Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY, USA

The art of performance is something of beauty; an evening-long bond that a band shares with their audience for 30 to 90 minutes, sweating and singing along to songs they both know. As Cage the Elephant emerged from the gloomy shadows of the Music Hall of Williamsburg on Thursday night, everything about that bond fell straight out of existence. The typical wall between the stage and audience was simply irrelevant, as the title of "roadie" quickly changed to "audience management" due to a crowd participation level of new proportions. Gold star everyone!

As the piercing downbeat exploded into a guitar thrashing extravaganza, lead man Matt Shultz busted into an interpretive dance-flailing combo which would come to define the rest of the evening with "Dr Dr Dr." Crashing hi-hat cymbals splashed into existence on "Tiny Little Robots;" handclaps and breakdowns enveloped and simply consumed the audience. Keeping the drive alive, drummer Jarred Champion thumped immediately into "Lotus," where upbeat, scarce verses gave way to mellowed-out choruses, climaxing in a song-ending jam session considerably timid for such an in-your-face group. And then began the crowd surfing. The kind of crowd surfing you'd imagine if you were, y'know, Kelly Slater. Have no fear though--those very same surfers found their way out of the sea of arms and onto the stage during tunes like "Back Stabbin Betty," some even wandering into Shultz's arms for an all-out hug sesh!

In a surprising manner, Cage dove into a pre-encore dual assault with "Ain't No Rest For The Wicked" and "Free Love" before coming back with an "In One Ear" closer to leave the audience lingering for more. A short set indeed, but in true rock and roll fashion the band was there and gone in a whirlwind of noise; just a taste of the endless possibilities which lie at the feet of these gents. After experiencing the onslaught of Cage's live show, one can offer but one vital piece of advice: keep your eyes peeled folks, cuz this guy is coming to hug you...HARD.