Cage The Elephant, “unplugged” line-up, from left: Matthew Shultz, Nick Bockrath, Matthan Minster, Brad Shultz, Daniel Tichenor. Photos by Matt Cohn.
Cage The Elephant began its eventful weekend in the L.A. area with an acoustic show Friday night at Fingerprints Music in Long Beach, treating a roomful of fans to songs from its soon-to-be-released album Tell Me I’m Pretty, which drops December 18.
The band, minus drummer Jared Champion, also gave the Fingerprints crowd a holiday helping of cuts from its previous three albums, Cage The Elephant; Thank You, Happy Birthday and Melophobia.
Cage The Elephant rocked Fingerprints Music Friday night with cuts from their soon-to-be-released album Tell Me I’m Pretty, and old favorites like this unplugged version of Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked.Read more: http://lbpo.st/1UiC99L
Posted by Long Beach Post on Saturday, December 12, 2015
Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked, unplugged. Video by Matt Cohn.
Lead singer Matthew Shultz, who sports a charisma similar to vintage mid-’60s Mick Jagger, had the whole house smiling within the first four bars of the first song. His keening tenor blended perfectly with the vocals of Cage’s musical utility man Matthan Minster, lifting their strong and engaging melodies over the solid, rocking foundation laid down by Matthew’s brother Brad on rhythm guitar, Nick Bockrath on lead guitar and Daniel Tichenor on bass.
From Bowling Green, Kentucky, Cage The Elephant got into the game young, demonstrating a flair for eclectic songwriting style and high-energy live shows. Cage scored a hit in the UK in 2008 and the USA in 2009 with “Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked,” a sinuous, spoken-wordy track from its first album. For the next few years the band toured heavily and played all the huge music festivals; Glastonbury, Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, and Coachella (where they got major props from U2’s The Edge).
Cage The Elephant drew a huge crowd to Fingerprints Music on Friday night and added itself to the growing list of memorable Fingerprints performers.
Last year, Cage toured with The Black Keys, and Matthew Shultz seized the opportunity to pitch some new material to Dan Auerbach, The Black Keys’ guitarist, vocalist and ace producer (Auerbach won the Grammy for Producer of the Year in 2013). Auerbach liked what he heard, and was soon putting Cage through the paces in a Nashville studio.
The result is “Tell Me I’m Pretty,” a major evolution for the band. Cuts from the new album such as the darkly surf-y “Mess Around” showcase Cage The Elephant’s flair for edgy hooks and Auerbach’s distinctive production palette.
The buzz surrounding the band’s new album and its reputation for kinetic live performances made for a sold-out show at Fingerprints Friday night.
Cage The Elephant continued its weekend of local gigs with an appearance Saturday night in KROQ’S “Almost Acoustic Christmas” show at the L.A. Forum. They shared the bill with Weezer, Foals, Bastille and many more bands, including Silversun Pickups, who played an acoustic show at Fingerprints in September.
Both the smartphone and sing-along forces were strong in this audience.
On Sunday, Cage headlined its own show at the El Rey Theatre in L.A., giving the band an opportunity to uncage its full sonic arsenal and Matthew Shultz’s wilder, stage-diving side. “What I love about Matt is he puts his whole heart and energy and soul into every single song,” said Summer Rivera, who came from Orange County to attend Friday’s Fingerprints show with her daughter Alexis. “Matt is really involved with his audience. We try to go to every local Cage show together,” Summer said.
Cage The Elephant will be doing two shows later this week in Nashville. On February 6 the band will be opening for Metallica in a sold-out concert at San Francisco’s AT & T Park. Cage will then tour extensively in the UK before making stops in France, the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark.
“Mess Around” off the upcoming album, Tell Me I’m Pretty, available December 18.
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