Music Reviews — 07 May 2014
Cage The Elephant & Foals, Two Different Styles at a Sold Out Terminal 5

Cage The Elephant and Foals

A LocalBozo.com Concert Review
Terminal 5, New York, NY
May 6, 2014

The first of a two night stint at New York City’s Terminal 5 was a completely sold out affair on Tuesday, headlined by the twin billing of Oxford, England’s Foals and Bowling Green, Kentucky’s Cage The Elephant. Ample room was scarce inside of the venue as thousands of actively drinking concertgoers rushed to fill the standing room only space as well as the two elevated tiers overhead. And these fans were no doubt delighted by two distinctive and yet electrifying performances by two bands from entirely different spectrums but who share a similar fanbase that despite their immense popularity already, is still burgeoning.

Concert Review: Foals at Terminal 5

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Admittedly, it was a bit of a surprise to see Foals hit the stage first considering the proportion of their overseas ascension. Backed by a cavalcade of blue and purple lights meshed with a bright flashing strobe, the five piece band took the stage with a fairly balanced synth-pop style approach – an almost 80′s style feel to their modernized musical blend. Their hour long set encompassed Foals’ diverse musical taste, prevalent on each of their three studio efforts. Though the show began relatively melodically, beareded frontman Yannis Philippakis and his mates really opened things up with “Providence” which was pleasantly loud and fast. During the track, the singer dove into the crowd with his guitar in hand and began to surf over the heads of the young fans now bumrushing the middle of the floor, which made for a wild sight on the floor.

Foals then mellowed down the show a bit with the slow building “Spanish Sahara,” encouraging fans to clap their hands overhead to the each of Jack Bevan‘s drum beats, followed by “Late Night,” which featured guitarist Jimmy Smith seated at the keys and bass player Walter Gervers pacing the song through a particularly sultry bassline. Fittingly though, Foals saved “Inhaler” as the show closer. Fans erupted for the song’s opening chords, but it was Philippakis’ high pitch vocals coupled with the track’s infectious hard rock breakdown that really made the performance memorable in this setting. The band’s success to date is hardly surprising considering the broad range of their music tastes whether they’re harnessing the likes of Jane’s Addiction in performing harder rock songs or a more subdued, danceable vibe when performing their own unique stamp on synthesized pop music.

Concert Review: Cage The Elephant at Terminal 5

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Following Foals would have been no easy feat for any other band, but on the heels of the success of 2013′s “Melophobia” released in October, Cage The Elephant has been as exciting a live band as any. Though the album falls just shy of 38 minutes in length, the songs breathe new life into a band already renowned for putting on some of the wildest live stage performances. Tuesday night’s headlining set touched just over an hour, but was quite literally a non-stop energetic rock show that bounced the crowd around from pillar to post.

Frontman Matthew Shultz made sure that he was the last of his bandmates to touch centerstage as the crowd applause in anticipation of his arrival built toward a peak of excitement. The melodic and building “Spiderhead” kicked things off nicely before “In One Ear” and “Aberdeen” allowed Shultz to parade around the stage vigorously. But it’s that out of control style that makes the band so enthralling- you simply wish they’d invite you up to their little party on stage so that you can join them in going nuts. But alas, they never do- though Shultz and his guitarist brother Brad did alternate diving into the front few crowd rows, further igniting an already lively crowd.

In support of their latest record, the band played the album in its entirety, albeit out of order. But the show offered up far more highlights than the performances of crowd favorites like “Take It or Leave It,” first single “Come a Little Closer,” and the supremely raw “Teeth,” all of which made the live audience come unglued. 2008′s “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked,” which is still perhaps the group’s most well known song to date, also seemed to strike a chord, as fans bobbed their hands overhead in unison along with each meticulous guitar strum. By the time the band had concluded by closing the show with the unrelenting “Sabertooth Tiger,” exhausted crowd members leaving the standing room only floor were red faced, soaked by a smattering of perspiration and spilled drinks. And all of them smiling. For at this style of rock show, they wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Cage The Elephant and Foals return for a second concert at Terminal 5 in New York City, May 7th.

- Jane Van Arsdale

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