High-energy Cage the Elephant rocks Spring Fling Tour


Isabel Ortiz-Gelder, Adviser

The moment Cage the Elephant, popular alternative band, hit the stage, all of Sacramento’s Sleep Train Arena was bursting with energy. Notes of heavy bass paired with lead vocalist Matthew Shultz’s effortlessly clean voice. Shultz constantly switched between slurred, lazy-sounding lyrics and strongly enunciated, powerfully delivered notes. He didn’t just sing, he used his voice as an instrument, just as his band members used their own instruments, to emphasize the feeling behind each song.

Opening song “Cry, Baby, Cry” was an upbeat number that the entire crowd bounced and sang along. Shultz, known for his unpredictable persona onstage, danced wildly and threw all his energy into the chorus.

That high energy never once wavered throughout the performance. The passion for each song poured out of the microphone, bass, keyboard and guitars, as well as the fans’ ecstatic screams.

When Cage the Elephant jammed out the first few notes of all-time famous song, “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked,” there was a clear moment of unity in the venue. Everyone knew every word and every note, from young kids to older men and women. Age didn’t take away from the enthusiasm expressed for the song and the band.

It’s safe to say that the show was more than just about pure entertainment, it was also about the history of the band and the relationship with the fans. Each band member interacted in their own way with the crowd, finding new ways to reel them in with every song change. Not once did the crowd cease exerting energy.

All around there were couples facing each other, feeling the moment, lone fans bobbing their heads to the music, or packs of men and women, girls and boys, itching to get closer to the stage. Both band and crowd lost themselves in the music, and that’s what made the show so phenomenally rock-and-roll.

The opening bands were all impressive as well. I had never heard of either Bear Hands, Foals, or Silver Sun Pickups until the concert. I ended up leaving with a particularly strong impression of alternative band Foals, as they definitely stood out to me the most.

Their songs consisted of slick guitar and harmonizing, upbeat keyboard and synthesizers, and the crowd seemed to get into their interesting sound and good energy.

As I only got to hear the last song performed by Bear Hands, I can’t say whether or not they stood out to me. However, Silver Sun Pickups, who played right before Cage the Elephant came out, made for a humorous but talent-filled performance. Each band member immediately showcased likeable personalities in between songs, as well as wowed the audience with about the same amount of excited energy during each song.

Overall, the experience during the Spring Fling tour was memorable. Opening bands were versatile and talented, and Cage the Elephant more than impressed me with its incredibly appealing vibe and intricate sound.