Phoenix Concert Theatre in Toronto, ON
March 10, 2010
Photos and Review by: Pete Nema
If you haven't seen Cage The Elephant in concert yet, they're probably not quite what you're expecting. The music is definitely rock, but the show has a strong punk feel to it.
Matt Schultz (vocals) wastes no time showing what he's made of, which is a head-shaking, stage-diving, super high-energy front man with some odd behaviours. We were one and a half songs in before he took his first dive into the crowd and surfed while belting out the lyrics. His insane energy level transferred to the crowd immediately, and the floor started bouncing in such a way that it felt like the building was shaking from a tremor. Crowd surfers started to make their way forward to the stage and into the pit, and all this in less than two songs.
Although there were points where the crowd settled down slightly, to the point of what a regular concert might be like, Matt Schultz just did not let up. He pulls on his shirt, he shakes and swings his head around to the point where most of us would probably pass out, and puts so much force into his vocals that his face goes red. In fact, I started to suspect he was stage diving because he considered crowd surfing restful as compared to what he was doing on stage. Matt's brother Brad Schultz (guitar) works at nearly the same level, as does most of the rest of the band, but Matt's behaviour is definitely more neurotic. As a result of all this, the music comes out decidedly edgier than in the recordings.
Like a fast-burning fuse, the band blazed through a ton of material, and then left the stage just 40 minutes after the show started. They did, however, return for a encore that was even more insane than the main set. The show ended with Matt doing one last stage dive, and then actually standing up on top of crowd with their hands holding him up like a pair of boots. He sang so hard he was red in the face, and then fell back down on top of the fans, swimming across the room toward the sound board, where he once again stood up on people, grabbed hold of a support beam and pulled himself up, free-climbing until he was pulled into the balcony. Completely and totally insane.