Cage The Elephant At The Northcote Social Club

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Cage The Elephant At The Northcote Social Club


It should have come as no surprise what awaited come show time at The Northcote Social Club; Kentucky five piece Cage The Elephant had made for a packed show in the humble-sized band room, a brim with a buzzing crowd following a delightful display from promising local support act, Loon Lake. On their maiden headlining tour of Australia, it was almost trivial as to why a notoriously high-energy act such as Cage The Elephant were playing such an intimate venue as the Northcote. However, intimate quickly became an advantage for the band as they burst on stage and head first into the deafening track, In One Ear. Difficult to see atop the jostling crowd rammed to the front of the low-rise stage for most of the set, it was clear that the group fed wildly off the energy of the intense crowd, and vice versa. Half-way through the opener and already, charismatic front man Matt Shultz had dived into the crowd, making it known that this was one mid-week gig not to be taken lightly; and with a second crowd surf two songs in thanks to the shuffling 2024 from last year’s full length Thank You Happy Birthday, it was clear there was one hell of a set to follow.

The hit tracks just kept coming, Aberdeen was a crowd favourite along with recent radio-spinner Around My Head keeping the pace up and the energy high as Shultz worked the room with his hypnotising moves head to toe. Seemingly unaffected by his earlier stage dives, Shultz also impressed with his off-beat charm and quirky sense of humour that added to the fervour of the live show. Laughter erupted from the crowd with the front man’s Australiana travel banter of eating a kangaroo while wearing a scarf for fear of a deathly throat gauge from the native, and the punches kept coming with the no-holds barred performances of the slightly more erratic Sell Yourself and the sarcastic tribute anthem, Indy Kidz. Some fuzzed-out guitar and aggressive head banging later and Shultz is on the floor before proclaiming, “Did you guys feel that? I just had a moment”, indicative of some kind of out of body experience. Add some slower songs into the mix like Rubber Ball and the irresistible sing-along Shake Me Down, and it’s time for the encore, with arguably the band’s best known track, ‘Aint No Rest For The Wicked. With the infectious slide guitar like a warm hug for my ears, the gig was brought to an end with a cover of Pavement’s False Skorpion, and yet another venture into the crowd from Shultz, this time joined by a number of enthusiastic and perhaps slightly high on life fans. Disappearing into the crowd as the rest of band left the stage, it was refreshing to be re-greeted by a sweaty and slightly overwhelmed Shultz at the exit, happily obliging for photos and handshakes with satisfied punters.


LOVED: Front man Matt Schultz’s uncontrollable body spasms and hilarious banter.
Not much.
  Water. ‘Cause I’m shit poor.