LIVE REVIEW: The Black Keys & Cage the Elephant

by: Olivia Adams

This past Saturday I was privileged enough to have the opportunity to see Cage the Elephant and The Black Keys perform at United Center in Chicago. From the moment Cage the Elephant began to play I knew this was going to be the best rock show I’ve ever seen.

The amount of energy Cage the Elephant can conjure up on stage is incredible. Playing mostly from their newest album Melophobia the crowd was instantaneously charged to an electrifying level within the first chords of “Spiderhead”. Having never seen this group live before, I was amazed with lead singer Matt Shultz’s raw vocals and energy on stage. Cage the Elephant slowed the show down briefly to play their single “Take It or Leave It” and promptly carried on with their first big hit “Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked”. Throwing himself from the stage Shultz rode the crowd. At another point in the show Shultz jumped into the arms of the crowd and stood up in their hands while singing the chorus to “Teeth”. Throughout the show I was struck by the similarities between Shultz stage presence and that of Mick Jagger’s of The Rolling Stones. The band’s psychedelic garage band sound was the perfect opener to get the crowd ready for headliner The Black Keys.

From the moment they stepped on the stage the crowd was captivated by this amazing duo. Dan Auerbach’s vocals were flawless and his guitar skills cannot be described as anything other than “sick”. Bringing it in on the drums Patrick Carney is force to behold. With his skilled and fierce approach I understood why he has a fan blowing on him the entire show- he was on fire. Originally not a huge fan of their newest album Turn Blue my opinion immediately changed once I heard them perform their first song “Weight of Love”. Its psychedelic feel with The Black Keys consistent blues influence makes this an album made to be seen and heard live. The rest of the show consisted of a great mix of recent crowd favorites like “Fever” and “Gold On The Ceiling” to songs from their first album ten years ago. The best moment of the night was the last song “Little Black Submarines”. Taking this already incredible song to the next level Auerbach improvised an introduction with a spanish guitar flair. This was one of the best concerts I’ve been to and I recommend seeing each of these groups perform live.

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