An unusually “cold, cold, cold” night impacted attendance at Merriweather Post Pavilion on Sunday evening. A large number of attendees missed the opener Broncos, but were there for Portugal, The Man. Even during the the headliner, Cage The Elephant, Merriweather looked a little empty. Luckily the weather did not stop the audience from having a good time.
Portugal, The Man, warmed the crowd right up with their unique take on jam band rock. For a band that musically transitions between songs and has few breaks they sounded very together throughout the entire performance. Even their mash ups sounded well composed. They played “All Your Light” and seamlessly transitioned into and out of The Beatles “I want you (She’s so heavy)”. Something that unless you were listening very closely you might easily miss.
What was hard to miss was Portugal’s hype man. It’s a little weird to see a rock band with a MC but it worked so well. He was able to keep the crowd engaged and dancing throughout the set. Not that it was needed though. New music like “Feel It Still” was enough to get people out of their seats. Another nice touch was that the primary lighting for most of the set was Purple, Yellow, Red, and Blue, a clever ode to their final song “Purple, Yellow, Red, and Blue”
Not to be outdone on lighting, Cage The Elephant had an electric stage set up with multiple risers for some of the band. Matt Shultz (Lead Vocals) however, did not need any special lighting or stands as he was dancing across the stage with every note. I have not seen a lead singer with that much energy since Fun.. Matt and brother Brad (Guitar) also jumped into the crowd on numerous occasions, feeding off the energy of fans. It was a truly great set to watch.
Musically, Cage The Elephant could have never been better. They have come a long way since their self-titled and “Aint No Rest For The Wicked”. With new tracks like “Mess Around” from Tell Me I’m Pretty along with hits like “Come a Little Closer” from Melophobia added into the set you had a great range of songs. From some more ballad like hits to some more rock anthems all of which felt at home with the thousands singing in the crowd.
Cage The Elephant has never been better and you can still see them and Portugal, The Man on tour. You can also grab Cage’s new album out now. Also be on the look out for Portugal, The Man’s new album Doomin & Gloomin in the near future. For more pictures from the show, see the gallery below.
Photos: Owen Paterline Photography