Cage the Elephant
Jam Cellars Stage
SP-CMC-8 (w/Mods) > Sony PCM-M10 > Sandisk Mini-SD Card (32gb - Class 10)
.WAV (24 Bit) > Adobe Audition 2021 CC (normalize/amplify/tracking/downsampling/dithering) > .WAV (16 Bit) > Trader's Little Helper > FLAC (Level 8)
02. Broken Boy
03. Cry Baby
05. Cold Cold Cold
06. Ready to Let Go
07. Social Cues
08. Tokyo Smoke
09. Mess Around
11. Skin and Bones
12. Ain't No Rest for the Wicked
14. House of Glass
15. Come A Little Closer
16. Shake Me Down
17. Cigarette Daydreams
This was my first time seeing Cage the Elephant, which is actually a huge surprise considering I feel like they have played at every single fucking festival I have ever attended. Let me completely serious and honest for a minute. Before Bottlerock 2021, I couldn't have named you one single Cage the Elephant song, even if you had put a gun to my head. Never once in my life have I ever heard someone say "Hey have you heard the new Cage the Elephant record?", nor have I have heard anyone mention that they were going to a Cage the Elephant tour. Seriously, do they even properly tour? Or do they just play festivals? It sure feels like the latter to me. Despite never hearing a song, not knowing the name of a single album, never having met anyone that I was aware of initially, that had seen them on their own tour, this band seems to play EVERY SINGLE FESTIVAL. Like literally, I feel like there is a particular group of bands who make all their fame and fortune by simply playing every festival they can get booked on (Portugal. The Man falls under this, along with Cold War Kids, Shovels and Ropes and a tide of others I can't think of off the top of my head). After all these years, I figured it was finally time, at least once, to catch these guys at a festival and give my honest review. Before this, my only memory of Cage the Elephant, was my friend Lex (who was with me this night as well) telling me she saw them at Coachella 2014 (or was it 2015?) and the singer surfed out into the crowd while eating a pineapple. All that said, I was actually rather excited to finally give these guys a listen.
I have to admit, and I'm happy to say this, that I was hooked right when the first notes of "Broken Boy" hit. Holy shit, these guys are actually really good. That was my first thought running through my head, and that thought never let up as the set continued on for the next hour. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but I thought these guys were going to be really cheesy and "poppy" sounding (like a much more radio friendly version of Grouplove) but they weren't that. Some of their songs were still a little too dancey rock for me, but the majority of it actually really fit my personal preferences.
Of course with all the good and surprise, there has to be some bad (c'mon, it wouldn't be one of my write ups unless I complain/rant about something), and the sound about halfway through started to really crap out. You'll hear it on this recording, obviously, as some annoying pops and crackling that just gets worse and worse over the course of a couple of songs. I was starting to get PTSD flashbacks to Radiohead's Coachella 2017 Weekend 1 performance, but thankfully it never got that bad (where the entire PA cut off). But it was funny to watch these entitled blanket loving assholes in the crowd get upset over this (now granted, I agree with being a little upset over the sound, but the way some of them reacted was a little overboard). Immediately they start booing and saying crap like "fuck you soundguy" and flipping the bird in that general direction. But the funniest moment was one of the ladies actually waved over to the security guy standing by the rail and started flipping out on him and asking him to go do something about it. And strangely (yet sort of endearing), the security guy wanted to would if he could, but told her he wasn't allowed to move from his spot. I'm watching this unfold and all I can think is yeah guys, only you two are aware of this problem, NOBODY at the soundboard desk can hear or is aware of the obvious problem. You're going to save the day! That's exactly what the soundguy wants, who is under who knows what kind of pressure/stress to fix this issue, is to have a security guard walk over to let him know the speakers are crapping out and the audience is unhappy. That'll go over real well.
Luckily the band called out the issues themselves after it persisting through a couple of songs and their sound guy, Tony, fixed it. The crowd cheered for this. It could have been a lot worse, I've seen/heard a lot worse, but thankfully it was fixed after not too long and the security and angry blanket loving assholes all calmed down again. War avoided!
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