Sonic Boom: Cage the Elephant Stampedes Albany’s Palace Theatre

“We’re not going to have any of that sitting down shit,” announced Cage the Elephant’s guitarist, Brad Shultz, during the band’s May 11 show at the Palace Theatre. Staying true to this promise, the Kentucky rock band delivered a stand-up spirited and dynamic two-hour performance — with frontman Matt Schultz constantly careening around the stage — that literally kept the crowd on its feet.


Originally planned for the Times Union Center, the concert was moved to the Palace Theatre earlier this month, and ticket holders were granted general admission seating in the floor and balcony sections of the historic Albany venue.

The night began with the Oklahoma-based indie group, Broncho, who is expected to release a new album, Double Vanity, on June 10. Portugal. The Man followed with an energetic performance that primed the crowd with excited anticipation for the night’s headliner; stand-out highlights include “Modern Jesus,” “Purple Yellow Red and Blue” and a familiar melody heard toward the set’s end that teased the Beatles “I Want You (She’s So Heavy).”

Cage the Elephant opened with “Cry Baby” from their most recent album, Tell Me I’m Pretty (2015), and soon after played “Spiderhead” off of the Grammy-nominated Melophobia (2013). The audience sang along to every word of “Spiderhead,” as Matt Shultz danced and strutted across the stage. His energy was relentless throughout the night, as the lights flashed in sync with the beat of the drums and reached to the balcony with colorful designs.


Toward the middle of their set, they played the crowd-pleasing hits “Trouble” and “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked.” As the night progressed, individuals attempted crowd surfing or jumped on stage themselves to join the band. This didn’t seem entirely discouraged by security, or the band themselves; throughout it all, Matt Schultz displayed unyielding stamina that never slowed down or stopped. They closed the show with the popular tune “Come A Little Closer,” before performing a three-song encore.

Coming back before the encore, Brad Schultz led the audience in a sing-along for touring guitarist Nick Bockrath’s birthday. This was followed by more group singing during “Cigarette Daydreams” with the lead singer holding his microphone stand out to the audience, and again for “Shake Me Down.” As the evening came to a close, more and more individuals jumped on and off stage.


For the last song of the evening, Matt Schultz remarked, “let’s see how many of you we can fit on this stage,” which led to a surge of audience members in floor seating to rush the stage. A mass of people joined the band, dancing along, as Matt and the rest of the gang became nearly indistinguishable among the crowd, while closing with “Teeth.”

Cage the Elephant delivered an unyielding, frenzied performance. Despite sporadic issues with the sound, it will remain as a memorable concert moment, particularly due to lead singer Matt Shultz’s resilience and energy throughout the Wednesday evening Palace Theatre performance.

Set list:
Cry Baby
In One Ear
Take It or Leave It
Too Late to Say Goodbye
Cold Cold Cold
Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked
Mess Around
Punchin’ Bag
Back Against the Wall
It’s Just Forever
Come A Little Closer

Cigarette Daydreams
Shake Me Down