• January 17, 2021
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Matt Shultz, frontman of Cage the Elephant, stands straight as he belts the chorus of “Come a Little Closer”, the prominent song on their new album, Melophobia.
Matt Shultz, frontman of Cage the Elephant, stands straight as he belts the chorus of “Come a Little Closer”, the prominent song on their new album, Melophobia.

It’s not every weekend that one of your favorite bands comes to North Carolina… let alone holds a free concert in the heart of downtown.

Friday, May 2, Cage the Elephant, an alternative rock band, held a concert at the Red Hat Amphitheatre. The venue was completely packed with attendance likely into the thousands. This conservative estimate does not include those listening behind the gates or on neighboring parking structures.

Two bands, the J Roddy Watson group and Foals, opened up the show. J Roddy Watson only played for about 30 or so minutes. However, Foals gave a spectacular performance and light show. Yet, both the bands seemed to be just that, a performance. Neither band’s music particularly stood out, and both bands’ songs greatly lacked lyrics.

By 9:30, Cage the Elephant descended onto the stage, and the crowd was completely pumped. They played a considerably lengthy set, especially considering it was a free concert, of both classic favorites (“Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked”) and their newest hit (“Come a Little Closer”); both of which were met with an uproarious sing-along from the audience.

Cage the Elephant gave one of the best performances I’ve ever seen. The show featured an excellent performance above all, as well as an even more impressive array of light and fog machines.

Matt Shultz, frontman for the band, is a spectacular performer and snake-like dancer, who infused the atmosphere of the concert with primeval communal sense of energy.

Shultz said, “You’re making it really hard for me to keep singing,” clearly reflecting the unmatched spirit of the crowd.

The concert was amazing and — with free admission — obviously good bang for your buck. Although, that could also be considered a con too. The audience, at least in the pit, was much more unruly than any other concert I’ve ever been too, and I’ve been to cramped metal shows at Lincoln Theatre. Dozens of people were constantly crowd surfacing, many of whom really shouldn’t have been, as lots of them fell onto bystanders.

Sarah Bryant, sophomore said, “It was really crazy up front. I kind of liked it, but it was also my first concert, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Either way the concert was amazing and an incredible first concert experience.”

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