Cage The Elephant: Pretty & Hard Rocking In Detroit

When one thinks of Bowling Green, Kentucky, the first thing that comes to mind probably isn’t raw, powerful rock music. In fact, I’m not too sure what IS supposed to come to mind, aside from cave attractions, statewide Colonel Sanders, and nearby bluegrass…

But Cage The Elephant is certainly a Kentucky matriculation that breaks all of the molds.

Cage, that consists of brothers Matthew Shultz and Brad Shultz, Jared Champion and Daniel Tichenor is now going on a decade of making music.

Throughout their career, Cage has inclusively shadowed a myriad of rock styles from all over the map. The band’s evolution seems to have come to a perfected and tighter well-rounded presentation with “Tell Me I’m Pretty”. Their latest album, released last December, was produced by Black Keys frontman, Dan Auerbach. It displays a band coming into their own: open, honest, and emotionally electrified.

Cage, who have had tour stops for a duration of 2016, stopped at Detroit’s Masonic Temple on Saturday.

Opening the show was Oklahoma band, BRONCHO. BRONCHO is anticipating the release of their third LP, “Double Vanity”, and beautifully previewed songs from the forthcoming LP. The band seamlessly transitioned from album to live stage without incident, delivering a spirited set that got the audience moving to the hypnotic ambiance. Lead singer and guitarist Ryan Lindsey was clearly pumped, energetically singing and letting out excited, “OW!”s every now and then.

Next up was Portugal. The Man. The band is touring under excited hype for their upcoming (not yet dated) release, which has been two years in the works.

The band delivered a passionate set, constantly making sure the audience was having a good time. The knowledgeable bunch would respond with a cheer.

Lead singer, John Baldwin Gourley told the crowd, “This is my first time in Detroit! You guys are the livest audience! You guys want a few more? Let’s do it! Let’s run it!”

Cage The Elephant took to the stage a little after 9:30, to the exhilarated delight of the crowd.

Guitarist Brad Shultz walked to the mic and said, “This is historically one of the most fucking rock and roll cities in America”. Thus, the band was off, beginning their set with a jam from “Tell Me I’m Pretty” entitled “Cry Baby”. Lead singer, Matt Shultz beautifully danced across the stage, jumping and jiving, making sure to sing to every part of the audience. At one point, he leaped off of the stage, and embraced front row attendees, going as far into the crowd as the barricade would allow. Hugs and cell phone photos were abound to capture the moment.

Fans were crowd surfing their way to the front throughout. The energy brought by Cage was easily matched by the jumping, singing and screaming crowd of Michiganders. After 2013’s “Come A Little Closer”, Cage exited the stage. A deafening applause echoed through the theater, longing for the band to come out for an encore. Cage closed out the night with three more songs, ending with a song from their LP “Melophobia” (this means “fear of music”) entitled “Teeth”.

Cage The Elephant clearly demonstrated their staying power as incredible musicians more than able to put on exceptional live show.

They will be dotting the US with concert stops well into the summer.


Words and photos by: Tiffany Cuthrell


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