Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Silversun Pickups, Manchester Orchestra, Cage the Elephant Minneapolis Concert Review

Last night I attended the Silversun Pickups / Manchester Orchestra / Cage the Elephant show that was held at the State Theater in Minneapolis. As I went by myself, I had outstanding tickets - 4th row, center stage. As you can see from the photo, they don't get much better than this.

Overall a very strange show, but a good one. Here's a quick review:

Cage the Elephant

  • Young band with very high energy. Looked like they just captured their college campus' "Battle of the Bands"
  • Lead singer Matt Schulz is a stage force akin to a young Jagger. Really.
  • Matt, kind of ticked about the traditional seated venue and kind of ticked that, as an opening act, they were playing to a room that was 1/3 filled, spent two songs out amongst the crowd, and at times, standing on empty chairs.
  • Matt ended up climbing one set of stacks and jumping to a balcony stage left of the theater. Unbeknownst to him, the balcony was fake, and he had no way down. He sang Ain't No Rest for the Wicked up there before having to shimmy his way down. Rock and roll!
  • Set list was a bit scattered, but enjoyable. Once this band ages some and their material matures, they are going to be really good. One to watch, for sure.

Manchester Orchestra

  • I would have gone to see these guys even if they were the solo act on the bill - I'm a big fan. Andy Hull, lead singer and creative driver of the group, led an impassioned set that did not disappoint.
  • Chris Freemen, who does keyboards and percussion, is really fun to watch. I've never seen someone so into the music while on stage. Jamming to the point of almost being out of control. Really fun.
  • I was disappointed in the length of Manchester Orchestra's set, and that they didn't play Where Have You Been?, but overall their performance was outstanding. I can't wait to see them again.

Silversun Pickups

  • The band came on about 15 minutes late due to sound issues. This was frustrating, but Brian Aubert had the crowd eating out of his hand by the time they hit the stage and went into Growing Old is Getting Old. Their lead song seemed appropriate to me, and I was wearing my "Oldest Guy at the Concert" T-shirt
  • Set was thoroughly enjoyable, with most of the expected songs played.
  • On the song right before Lazy Eye (Substitution), Brian broke a string. The band held until his replacement guitar was delivered and then they killed the last portion of the song off. Unfortunately, as Brian kicked into Lazy Eye, the tune of the guitar was off, and in a moment that should have brought the house down, the crowd was noticing the issue and was only mildly into it. About a third of the way into it Brian must have compensated in some fashion as the sound was regained, but momentum hurt. Not to be outdone by Cage's antics, Brian jumped off the stage and into the crowd for the guitar solo. By the time he had returned to the stage, he had tore the building down. Fun to watch him work so hard to save the song.
  • Due to their late start and the State's draconian curfew times (10:15?), the band left and immediately (and I mean immediately) returned for their first and only encore. They pushed it and cranked through one more song, and the crowd really seemed to appreciate the effort.

Overall, it was a great show. I'd rather see all three in a venue like First Avenue, but given my seats, it was still pretty fun. I'd like to see all three return to Minneapolis in short order.

Until their return, check out some serious rocking...

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