I’m not exaggerating when I say that this is one of the best tour lineups I have ever witnessed.
If you told me to create my perfect festival lineup, Beck, Cage the Elephant, and Spoon would be on there. Each of those bands create amazing music, have spectacular stage presence, and have a somewhat similar style. When I heard that the three bands were touring together, it felt like my dream lineup had come true. The trio played Northerly Island on the night before Lollapalooza; the city was already set up for the massive festival, and the crowd at Northerly seemed livelier than usual. Chicago’s own Wild Belle opened up for Spoon and was a welcome band for those coming to the show early.
Spoon put on a great set, but I unfortunately got there just after the photo pit closed. I found my seat near the stage and caught the last half of their performance. They played some of my favorite songs, including “I Turn My Camera On” and “The Underdog”. As fans made their way back to their seats for Cage the Elephant, I noticed a sign on the side of the stage that said “PYRO”. During their first song, “Broken Boy”, the stage erupted in fire. Vocalist Matt Schultz stumbled onstage in a baggy, mismatched suit jacket and leather pants, holding a mesh mask over his face. Schultz has always had incredible stage presence, but he really outdid himself at this show.
Schultz did something I’ve never seen before: he crowdsurfed at a seated show. He slowly and carefully made his way to back of the pavilion as the band closed with “Teeth”, floating on top of the crowd the entire time. When he made it to the soundboard, he climbed the spotlight rigging, all while wearing a wrestling singlet he’d stripped down to earlier. At one point, he pretended to fall but was just showing off his acrobatic skills (this was at least 40 feet in the air). Not only was Cage the Elephant’s set musically incredible, Schultz ensured that those who didn’t know his band would remember him forever.
Beck has been a consistently incredible musician for over 20 years, and his live performances are always a reflection of that. He opened with his amazing mid 90s hit “Loser” and encouraged everyone to sing along with him. It’s hard to believe he’s been singing this song for 25 years; seriously, the man has not aged. I have to admit I lost it a little bit when he played “The New Pollution”. I remember seeing him play that live on TV when I was a kid, and it was one of my favorite songs growing up.
In addition to playing his biggest hits, Beck pulled out some lesser known songs, including “Black Tambourine” off his 20005 album, Guero. He ended the show with an incredible opus of songs, starting with part of “Where It’s At” and segueing into a cover of Elvis Costello’s “Pump it Up”. Matt Schultz came back onstage to sing “Night Running”, their collaborative tune that the tour is named after. Beck closed it all out with the end of “Where It’s At”.
If you get the chance to see this tour, do it. It shouldn’t be missed. Beck, Cage the Elephant, and Spoon are headed to Toronto and then the Northeastern states. Tickets rfor their tour are available HERE.