Don’t ever expect to stand around at a Cage The Elephant show. They sure won’t. “That guy is going to be completely spent by the time this show is over,” I thought to myself as I watched lead singer Matthew Shultz power through the lines of “Cry Baby” in frenetic and sometimes acrobatic fashion. The studio version of the 2105 album, Tell Me I’m Pretty, is a little bit calmer. The live version is turned up to the max, welcoming you to a light where you will get your money’s worth. If you want to introduce your summer concert venue in the way Central Park Summerstage did with this particular show, you’ll certainly will have New Yorkers looking in the program to see what’s to come next.
It was a little rainy in the beginning—New York was on one of its bipolar temperature bouts. Despite this, though, there were a good amount of people who showed up to the second of the two-night series.
The psychedelic/progressice rock stylings of Portugal. The Man brought on a different vibe, especially given what was coming next. The set would have been enhanced had it be warmer as this is the type of music you can definitely relax and daydream to. Songs like “Modern Jesus” and “Chicago” that were played in their set are two sides of the coin. “Chicago” has a loud proceeding part that drops into a lullaby-like ending. Call this the interesting and intricate warm-up.
There’s a reason why CTA is one of the most acclaimed live acts in rock music right now. Within the stage backdrop, there were sets of bulb lights that helped elevate how aggressive the show was. There’s a plethora of rock apologists giving the death knell to modern day rock because it does not present itself in what they recognize. Rock is alive in many different forms today and is probably better for it. Songs like “Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked” and “Take It Or Leave It” hearken back to the classic rock beginnings of bands like The Rolling Stones. Sometimes, it just takes a good rhythm and some heart to be a new generation of a genre of music on the ropes.