Cage the Elephant at The Orpheum – Boston

Photos and review by Matt Johnson
Show photos HERE
The first time I heard Cage the Elephant’s single “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked” in 2008 I could tell I would be enjoying album after album from them for years to come. Two albums later I have finally had the privilege of seeing them perform in the beautiful Orpheum Theatre in Boston, Massachusetts. Cage the Elephant writes music with such infectious energy that it demands to be experienced live.
I knew it was going to be a wild show when I noticed a stagehand moving from bouncer to bouncer in order to brief each one on the chaos that was about to unfold. The Orpheum’s infamous restrictive seating did not put a damper on the energy of the show. It did space everyone out just enough that front man, Matt Shultz, couldn’t dive on top of his adoring fans without risking a broken arm. Instead, Matt improvised and took a stroll through the audience microphone in hand. He made it surprisingly far into the crowd considering he was tethered to a stagehand elevating the microphone wire high above reaching hands. The set list mostly consisted of songs from their new album Melophobia with old favorites sprinkled in. A song I was sad to see omitted was one of their few low-key tracks “Rubber Ball”. They made up for it by playing my absolute favorite song “Shake me Down” last and for me that was perfect.
The supporting act, Foals, surprised me with an intense rollercoaster of a set filled with beautiful improvisation. They went from ambient, floating, instrumental to screaming at the top of their lungs and hammering on their instruments. They were a perfect complement to Cage the Elephant.
This performance was such a pleasure to photograph. The unpredictable lighting and nonstop movement of the performers proved challenging but in turn made the results so much more rewarding. The fans up front were so in to it I had to practically lay down sideways on the stage to get their flailing arms out of my shots. The three songs (that we are allowed to photograph) seemed to be over so quickly I had to ask the other photographers around me “Was that really three?” It was a blast! I just wish I could have taken photos all night.
Every person there was having a great time singing and dancing. People were enjoying themselves so much I thought they were going to fall off the balconies! The jerks were few and far between and security made sure they didn’t do anything stupid. I would love to see Cage the Elephant perform again and am looking forward to them returning to Boston on their next tour.

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