There’s a reason Cage The Elephant have long been hailed as one of the most explosive live performances, and that reason is Matt Shultz. Erupting on to the stage to the oh-so-70s fuzz of Cry Baby, his feet barely touch the ground for the entirety of the performance, careering from left to right, stage to crowd, making full use of every possible part of the Brixton O2 Academy he can feasibly get to. Seemingly aiming for a crowd pleasing set this evening, the Kentucky four piece launch into the now iconic In One Ear intro, the opening track from their self titled debut album, a subtle reminder of the inconceivable heights the band have reached since the release of the single.
Their stage presence is almost a welcome assault on the senses, the set awash with reds, blues and harsh backlighting, with bassist Daniel Tichenor heading down through the pit and into the crowd on just the first song. The eerie tones of Too Late To Say Goodbye hold the sold out crowd of five thousand completely captive, as if ‘under a spell’, akin to the lyrics of the chorus. Shultz’s fascinating allure carries him into Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked for arguably the biggest sing-along and most anticipated track of the night, provoking the crowd into a more frenzied state than ever.
As Matt takes to the stage on his own to play a poignant acoustic rendition of Right Before My Eyes, emotions are running high among the crowd, and the gratitude of the band is reflected in the atmosphere here this evening. The sentimental tone continues through Cigarette Daydreams and fan favourite Shake Me Down, until the band disappear from the stage before roaring straight into Teeth, sending the crowd absolutely hysterical one last time.
Taking his last moment to address the audience, Shultz declares with fists raised “It’s time for the majorities to stand up for the minorities”, a particularly fitting finale for such an awe inspiring set.