Monday, October 26, 2009

Concert Review - Cage the Elephant - Ches-A-Rena - Pittsburgh - 10/24/09 - Show Review (Part 1)

This was my first time at Ches-A-Rena (aka Gravity) which is a surprisingly very good venue. The place looks like some old military silo with a "tube" look to it...but the ceiling (although falling in places) really allows wonderful acoustics. Its a shame that it won't be around much longer because Cheswick city council won't grant a liquor license. Sometimes I wonder if under funded towns/cities such as Cheswick don't understand how this little venue could have positive financial gains for their town. But that is for another day.

Cage the Elephant came out after opener An Horse (by way of Australia) finished a surprising solid set. From the get go these young guns kicked it into gear with constant motion and energy. I haven't seen a band (especially lead singer Matt Shultz) go this wild onstage since some really bad punk show (and this wasn't it). This was a 5 piece that sweated out their songs while hammering on their instruments. Shultz on the other hand is a man possessed to entertain spazzing out on stage while belting out lyrics with a boisterous voice. Shultz didn't stop there as he jumped into the crowd several times while hanging onto the mic and still keeping pace with the background music.

It appeared that over a third of the crowd was there to see CTE. It was a diverse group from a heavily tattooed biker (in his 50's) waving his arms and singing along to pre-teen kids eating up the showmanship of CTE. Even the burley security guard was a fan with a fully autographed shirt by CTE. CTE puts on a quite a show no matter who the audience is. The crowd was definitely into it with fans carrying the crowd surfing Shultz back and forth to the stage, evening allowing him to stand upon their shoulders while screaming the lyrics. Usually you would think if the band has this much energy they must be pretty loaded. But I doubt these guys even drink as I saw Shultz chugging a Mountain Dew after the show.

The set ended with Shultz climbing a bundle of speakers before diving into the awaiting crowd (see video). While this was playing out the rest of the band was accommodating fans by greeting and talking with the many supporters who came to the side of the stage. Nice kids that put on a high energy show. Can't beat that.


  1. Nice review. I haven't been to that venue yet. I wonder why they changed the name back from Gravity?

  2. no idea. its definitely a bited dated but the sound was great. plus it can fit a few thousand I imagine.