As Cage The Elephant exploded on stage at the Daytime Village at the iHeartRadio Music Festival on a blistering September day in Las Vegas, guitarist Brad Schultz immediately ran to the crowd, immersing himself in the sweat of the audience during their performance of their 2008 smash hit "Ain't No Rest For The Wicked".
Following pop sensation Hailee Steinfeld is not an easy task but the boys from the tiny town of Bowling Green, Kentucky managed to make the giant festival stage feel like a small, intimate dive bar in the middle of the desert.
Baby-faced singer Matt Schultz contorted his body along to the music as if he was possessed by the spirit of rock greats Iggy Pop and Mick Jagger. They then slowed down as Schultz switched gears to a series of falsetto "whoos" on "Trouble" off their new album Tell Me I'm Pretty. The band had a heavy hitter behind-the-scenes with The Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach producing the project and his blues-rock influence can be heard throughout the new material.
The group then performed the dynamic "Shake Me Down," alternating between soft, plucking guitars and cymbal-smashing big riffs. Matt Schultz jumped off stage to get in the face of the screaming crowd (and one shocked security guard).
Cage then finished the set with "Come a Little Closer," a song that features a driving, infectious bass line that makes it's near impossible to not bang your head. The band has separated themselves from the pack revival rock groups with their unique anthems of self-doubt, neuroticism, and debauchery. This performance served as a taste of what's to come as they rock the main stage of the iHeartRadio Music Festival later tonight at the T-Mobile center.
Photo Credit: Andrew Swartz