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Cage the Elephant // Live @ Gila River Arena // 6.26.16

Article and Photos by: Jason Robey

 

GLENDALE, AZ — The Cage the Elephant/Portugal. The Man summer tour came to a close with a high energy show in Glendale this past Sunday night.

Chicago rockers, Twin Peaks, kicked the show off with a 30-minute set, made up mostly of songs from their latest album, Down in Heaven. Though the crowd was still relatively small, the band was well-received and did a great job warming up the room for the rest of the evening. Vocalist/guitarist Cadien Lake James led the five-piece through a fast-paced setlist, highlighted by a trio of recent singles, “Walk to the One You Love,” “Butterfly” and “Holding Roses.” Twin Peaks will return to the valley to headline at the Crescent Ballroom on September 22.

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The arena filled in quite a bit during the short break before the lights went down again. As the crowd began to scream, the room was filled with the thunderous drum intro from Kanye West’s “BLKKK SKKKN HEAD” playing over the P.A., and Portugal. The Man’s hype-man introduced the self-described “Lords of Portland.” The band then tore into “Hip-Hop Kids” from their latest album, 2013’s Evil Friends. That was quickly followed by another track from that record, “Atomic Man,” with a verse and chorus of the Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter” tagged on the end.

Amidst a backdrop of a car in flames and a light show that washed the arena in purple, blue and green, Portugal. The Man put on an hour-long show that drove the audience into a frenzy. From the jangly guitar of the upbeat “Evil Friends” to the beautifully haunting “Sea of Air,” the band delivered a solid, crowd pleasing set, closing with the single, “Purple Yellow Red and Blue.”

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Following one more set break, Cage the Elephant stormed on to the stage with the heavy rocker, “Cry Baby,” the opening track on their latest release, Tell Me I’m Pretty. From the first time vocalist Matt Schulz appeared from backstage, he ran, jumped and danced from end to end of the stage like a man possessed, barely stopping for a breath throughout the evening. The band wasted no time before launching into the opening chords of their first single, “In One Ear,” from their 2008 self-titled debut.

As the band ripped through a string songs from their four studio albums, their fans proved their loyalty, singing along with “Spiderhead,” “Aberdeen” and other favorites. Their biggest hit to-date in the U.S., “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked” had a booming drum beat added for the live version, a definite highlight of the set.

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After the chugging bass of the 2014 single, “Come a Little Closer,” from the Melophobia album, the band briefly left the stage, leaving the audience to scream for more. They returned for a three-song encore, starting with the mellowest part of the night, the 2014 hit, “Cigarette Daydreams,” straight into the fast-paced “Shake Me Down,” from 2010’s Thank You, Happy Birthday. The night ended with wild abandon, as the band invited the members of the Twin Peaks and Portugal. The Man back on to the stage for “Teeth.” Some of them played instruments, while others poured beer into the mouths of those who were playing, and a couple of them proved that stage-diving still has a place, even in an arena show. Brad Schulz, guitarist and brother of Matt, leaned himself back into the crowd while he played the last couple minutes of the song, before throwing his guitar back onto the stage, finishing an incredible set and bringing the tour to close.

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Jason Robey
Jason has a deep relationship with music, as a performing musician, avid concert-goer and professional audio engineer. He has a passion for the local Phoenix music scene, as well as indie music from all over. He also enjoys writing, photography and anything that can make him laugh. Instagram: yitbos69 Twitter https://twitter.com/yitbosaz

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