By Chyrisse Tabone, Rock At Night Tampa
Venue: Curtis Hixon Park, Tampa, Florida–Cage the Elephant–April 10, 2019
What could be better than a free Cage the Elephant concert to celebrate the kick-off of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs on April 10th in Tampa, Florida? Nothing! The Grammy-winning band was last in Tampa during the 2017 Gasparilla Festival, and is slated to return in late-August with Beck in tow, to promote their upcoming album Social Cues.
On a beautiful Wednesday afternoon, Rock At Night arrived in downtown Tampa at Curtis Hixon Park around 4 p.m. to the sound of Cage the Elephant doing their soundboard check. Standing off in the distance, we could hear a preview of the concert for a good 25 minutes—and we knew it would be a great evening.
People started lining up early to go through the security check before running through the park to secure a good position near the stage. Food trucks surrounded the field and the aroma of bacon was in the air. Even Dunkin’ Donuts was giving away free donut holes, coffee, and sweet tea. Everything was stacking up well which would turn out to be a good 45 minute to 1 hour show of classic Cage the Elephant hits.
The sun was blazing as Matt Shultz came out dancing on the stage, looking very Mick Jagger-ish in moves, as he pranced, swayed, and grimaced at the crowd. The crowd, which consisted of mostly 20-somethings, were fist pumping, singing, and jumping with glee. There were plenty of cell phones raised, filming the show, or taking the “obligatory selfies”.
Cage the Elephant is known for their energetic and almost frantic concerts—and Wednesday’s show was no exception. Brad Shultz jumped over the barricade and crowd surfed with his electric guitar, later throwing it up on stage to a staff member, and crawling back on stage to continue the tune. There was much electricity in the air, as the band moved through hits like “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked” and “Trouble”, which the crowd sang along with the “oohs”. Songs from Social Cues like “Ready to Let Go”, “Skin and Bones”, and “Broken Boy” previewed what appears to be a catchy but deeper-themed album, as the band digs deeper into relationships and emotion. A poignant moment was when Matt Shultz spoke to the audience about losing a friend recently—actually several in recent years—and how life is so precious. Brad Shultz later reiterated the sentiment to the audience by asking each concert goer to “hug the person next to you” in a show of love and solidarity.
At the end of the set, the band walked off stage but returned as the crowd chanted “one more song, one more song”. The band admitted to being not prepared for the moment and played “Teeth” as an encore.
After the concert, the audience was treated to a live screen showing of Game 1 of the Lightning versus the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Members: Matt Shultz (vocals, guitar), Brad Shultz (guitar), Jared Champion (Drums), Matthan Minster (keys,guitar), NIck Bothrath (guitar).
Cry Baby; Cold, Cold, Cold; Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked; Skin and Bones; Trouble; Come a Little Closer; Broken Boy; Ready to Let Go-Encore: Teeth.
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