Sound Academy in Toronto, ON
December 19, 2013
Review by: Melissa Adamson
Photos by: Daniel Pascucci
Cage the Elephant stormed into Sound Academy to help Toronto ring in the holidays as part of The Edge 102.1’s Jingle Bell concert series.
Cage the Elephant
Melophobia, the title of Cage the Elephant’s current album, means fear of music, but there is nothing timid about Cage the Elephant. They attacked their setlist and delivered a performance full of reckless energy and uncontrolled vocals. A few songs into the set Matthew Shultz (vocals) announced, “If I get knocked unconscious pass me around.” That was the theme of the night - ultra-high energy, with no inhibition or restraint.
Shultz didn’t stop moving. He jumped around the stage all night and encouraged the rowdy first half of the venue to follow his lead. The back half was filled with the quiet fans and maybe those not as familiar with the band, or those not willing to throw themselves into a pit of bouncing sweaty bodies. For those of us who held back, we probably missed out on the Cage the Elephant concert experience. They are a band that you go to let loose with, not a band you go to listen to for a technically perfect music performance. In fact, Shultz’s vocals are far from perfect. They fit with the style of the music but they are weak and often turn into breathless shouting as he moves quickly around the stage.
The 14 song set was a mix of songs from their current album Melophobia and an even split between their two other albums. The crowd cheered enthusiastically for every song but the most enthusiasm was shown for “Come a Little Closer”, “Aberdeen”, “Back Against the Wall” and “Shake Me Down”, which was saved for the encore.
The set seemed short simply because the band didn’t stop moving or playing for very long between each song. The longest break was to say they were happy to be ending their tour in Toronto because it is a city they love and the first city that they played to a crowd of over 250 people.