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Cage the Elephant Bring Their Kentucky Carnage to the Ballroom

Off the back of their UK arena shows with Foals, Cage the Elephant returned to London to kick off their own world tour at Camden’s Electric Ballroom. Fireworks were expected.

Screen Shot 2014-02-23 at 10.48.46The Kentucky five-piece – six with the touring keyboardist – opened the show with a brief guitar solo from newest member Nick Bockrath, replacement to the departed Lincoln Parish. As the fretboard wailed, the rest of the group joined onstage and
Melophobia’s first track, ‘Spiderhead’, was the catalyst in turning the crowd into a sprawling sea of limbs. No sooner than the first track had finished the second had started, and as ‘In One Ear’ thundered around the venue eccentric and energetic frontman Matt Shultz – surely a nightmare to bring up as a child - was already crowd surfing his way across the audience. Cage the Elephant, a group renowned for their raucous gigs, orchestrated the floor’s carnage throughout the entire show, building it up with songs like ‘Ain’t No Rest For the Wicked’ or slowing it down with ‘Back Against the Wall’, but never letting it cease. It was exhausting as it was fantastic. The encore, the excellent ‘Shake Me Down’ followed by set-closer ‘Sabretooth Tiger’, were the perfect showcase of Cage the Elephant’s talents. The first being a distinguished pop-song and the second a heavy chaotic track ideally suited to a live environment. The breadth of material Cage the Elephant were able to pull from during their Electric Ballroom show was impressive, with the infusion of blues and heavy rock possessing broad appeal. Considering their back catalogue is only comprised of three albums, their fourth album is already well worth looking forward to. 8/10
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