“This is going to be our last show ever,” Cage The Elephant frontman Andrew Shultz said . The crowd was not buying it. After all, Cage The Elephant, an alternative rock band, just released a new album “Tell Me I’m Pretty,” and is currently playing on their largest tour to date. Why play your last show now in Philadelphia? Maybe it was the beautiful spring weather at the Mann Center’s Skyline Stage on the evening of May 12, or maybe it was the glimmering Philadelphia skyline in the background. Either way, Cage the Elephant wanted fans to be excited for what they called their “last show.” And they gave one hell of a performance.
Opening act BRONCHO played a good set and was quickly followed by world famous band “Portugal. The Man,” who were accompanied on stage by a hype man whetting the crowd’s musical appetite. The sun had set, the weather was perfect and Cage the Elephant took the stage, opening with the lead song “Cry Baby,” off of their new album. Flashing strobe lights covered the stage, surrounding the pedestal for drummer Jared Champion to perch himself on for the remainder of the evening. Interacting with each other on stage, the band members worked out a great dynamic which made their stage presence even stronger.
To start the show, the band’s first five songs included a song from each album of the band’s four-LP discography. “Cry Baby” represented their newest album, “In One Ear” represented the band’s self-titled album, “Spiderhead” and “Take It Or Leave It” represented “Melophobia” and “Aberdeen” represented “Thank You, Happy Birthday.” Seeing the band play a song from each album was astonishing considering each album’s reception in the media was fairly positive. Fans were ecstatic to hear all their favorite songs from the band’s discography, and not just songs from the new album for which they were touring. The remainder of the show included mostly songs from “Tell Me I’m Pretty,” including “Too Late to Say Goodbye,” “Cold Cold Cold” and “Punchin’ Bag.”
The band’s most popular song “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked” which was played about half way through the show, was a perfect way to recapture the energy from when the band began and carry it through the end of the show. The song had everyone chanting the lyrics: “There ain’t no rest for the wicked, money don’t grow on trees/I’ve got meals to pay, I’ve got mouths to feed, there ain’t nothing in this world for free.”
“Come a Little Closer,” the band’s third most played song on Spotify, marked the end of their set. This song was an absolutely great song to end the show with because of the energy it left the crowd with; everyone knew the lyrics and was singing along. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but chants for “One more song!” erupted, bringing the Kentucky-based band back on stage for a three-song encore.
To start off their encore they played the mellow “Cigarette Daydreams” to swoon the crowd. The ambient melody paired perfectly with cool spring winds and the moonlit sky as trees reflected the red and green lights shining off of the stage. Moving onto another soft song, the band played “Shake Me Down,” before ending the show with their loud, piercing song “Teeth.” The live version of “Teeth” replaced the expressive poem from the end of a song with five minutes of feedback from the guitar amplifier. Not the best replacement, but fans’ cheers seemed to harmonize perfectly with the nasty feedback. “Remember, this was our last show,” Shultz said again before leaving the stage. The band played three days later in Maryland, likely saying the same thing. Last show or not, Cage the Elephant played the show as if it were their last, leaving fans with unforgettable memories, lost voices and ringing ears.