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February 26, 2010

Concert review: Cage the Elephant at 9:30 Club

cage the elephantIn today's Live section, I profiled the no-frills rock group Cage the Elephant (read the piece here).

The five-piece from Kentucky is known more for their raucous live shows than their smoldering self-titled debut album.

To get a taste of what Cage the Elephant's sold-out show at the Recher Theatre will be like, I saw their sold-out show at the 9:30 Club last night. It was good -- but not great.

Honestly, after watching so many YouTube clips of lead singer Matt Shultz crowd diving and jumping off second-story balconies, I think I set my expectations too high ...

The first half of Cage the Elephant's set was a blend of slow-burning rock with a bit of punk and blues. Though lead guitarist Lincoln Parish cranked out some heavy riffs, the rest of the band could have been tighter.

Shultz, who crowd surfed, screamed and walked on the hands of audience members, was every bit the charismatic front man I'd expected, though it was hard to hear his talk-singing at times.

Live, singles such as "Back Against the Wall," "In One Ear" and "Ain't No Rest For the Wicked" were twice as scorching as the album versions. But the other album cuts were hit-or-miss. I wonder how tonight's show at the Recher will be.

(Photo by Danny Clinch)

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 1:20 PM | | Comments (4)
Categories: Concert reviews


Going to see them tonight @ the retcher.
Hope they're great!

You must have been at a different show Sam. This was one of the hottest and best shows I've seen in a long time, and the band was as tight as could be. Maybe your time in the VIP box sipping free cocktails distracted you.

I thought this show was incredible! I was front row center and from where I was, the band rocked! I even got to run my fingers through Matt's hair and helped catch him on his stage diving antics. The energy that Cage the Elephant created that night at the 9:30 club is something I will not soon forget!

saw the show in austin last week- the audio was TERRRRRIBLE until they played their hits. then everything sounded incredible. not an audio expert, but it sounded like they were lip syncing to a recording, while the drummer played his childish rhythm along with it.

still a great show- just wish the audio wouldnt have been ,,, up the rest of the time. hope either the venue or the sound crew fixes this

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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