Cage the Elephant and MUSE Concert Review


Photo by Jessica Prouty

The logo on the front is composed of an artistic design and the bands full name across the top. Looking closer at the jumble of drawings, you can begin to make out shapes such as eyes and even two faces. Can you see them both?

Walking into the Gwinnet arena on September 4th , I had no clue what to expect. It was just another Wednesday, and, at the time of entrance, just another concert. Nothing looked nearly as spectacular as expected. In fact, everything was quite unentertaining. The stage crew was setting up, placing an array of guitars to be used by the opening band, Cage the Elephant, as electricians tested the multicolored lights. Although I knew the band rather well and enjoyed their music, a small part of me was wishing they would never take the stage to begin with. MUSE was the reason everyone was there, or so I thought at the time. The floor level was fairly empty when we arrived so we took a spot on the ground close to the stage, chatting until fans were piled to the rim of the building and the lights dimmed.  Immediately, everyone was to there feet.

As I braced myself for a boring run through of an opening act, I was immediately taken back when Matt Shultz, front man of CTE, and the rest of his band members took the stage. The first thing that caught me off guard was the look. They had no specific dress code, sporting everyday wear such as blue jeans and other band shirts. Matt especially looked as simple as ever, wearing white jeans and a flannel button down partially unbuttoned. They looked like an everyday garage band to me. But while I was shocked at the simplistic look, I was also intrigued as to why these young men were touring with the adored MUSE.

As the lights darkened to a solid black, Shultz was highlighted by a red stage beam.

“Tonight will be a special night tonight. Call it a hunch, but I can feel it,” Matt told his crowd. To my surprise, the crowd went wild! Fans yelled and reached up to the stage from the floor level as the band began an apparently well known song (seeing as everyone on the floor audience was singing along) “Around My Head”. The song was very applicable to the previous statement, seeing as the first lyrics were “I don’t know why. I got these feelings, yeah, that I can’t seem to get away from. Can you dig it?”

Songs such as the band’s first single, “no Rest For the Wicked” and their newer song “Shake Me Down” were showcased phenomenally by the inspirational young men who worked their hardest to be perfect. As the concert went on, Matt took the liberty to make the night truly memorable. As a very animated Shultz and bass player, Daniel Tichenor, moved erratically to their music, fans screamed at the top of their lungs. After a few songs into the concert, Shultz dove into the crowd, his body being shuffled from person to person as the band played mercilessly on stage. Fans gave off deafening screams as a now shirtless Shultz was passed into their hands. At one point, he was actually held up by the crowd while standing to sing as he was truly among admirers. A few moments after he finished the verse, he lunged right back into the crowd.

The band ended their performance with a new single to be on the next album (Melophobia, due to be released October 8th). “Come a Little Closer”, the new single, was a true treat to the fans and gave some insight to a more sensitive side of Cage the Elephant, one that I think no one had ever acknowledged before. When the band finished, Matt thanked his fans for their support and very professionally exited the darkened stage. Walking into the arena, I only wanted MUSE. But as CTE left, I felt the intense need to follow. The concert had been well put together, into one solid and choreographed performance. The band had performed long and hard, working to keep the excitement growing. While MUSE’s follow up performance was breathtaking, CTE’s songs ran continuously through my head, like a playlist on loop. The show was absolutely amazing, filled with moments of jokes and laughter. I will certainly be attending another of Cage the Elephants concerts soon!