Live Review: Cage The Elephant + Loon Lake – Northcote Social Club (31.01.12)

Big props to locals Loon Lake who took on the massive crowd of revellers with all the bravado of a headlining act and managed to keep them engaged and dancing for the duration of their set. There are so many guitar bands floating around at the moment that I personally find it difficult to distinguish acts such as Loon Lake, Bleeding Knees Club, Velociraptor and The Frowning Clouds from one another – they all play mindless good time soundtracks without offering anything new or challenging to the ears. Loon Lake put on a solid performance though with the entire band looking to be having the time of their lives up onstage.

Technically they didn’t add much to their studio recordings and listening to them live was no different then listening to them on record however they had an upbeat, larrikin vibe that was enjoyable, with singer Sam Nolan sounding incredibly blokey as he thanked Cage The Elephant for having them along and closed the set with their hit “In The Summer”. If you want to get pissed and party on then Loon Lake are the perfect fun band for you.

The Northcote was packed to capacity by the time Cage The Elephant walked onstage and turned the room into one gigantic mosh pit as the kiddies went off to a sound that is so incredibly nineties that I almost felt out of place without a pair of high waisted artfully ripped jeans, belly top and scuffed Docs. The Kentucky natives are a ferocious live act who tore the venue to shreds with their intense, high energy display. Front man Matthew Schultz appears to have done more coke then Pete Doherty as the man was so pumped that he didn’t stay still for the duration of their set and had no aversion to sustaining injury with his mental onstage moves. His eccentric manner delighted the fans as Schultz thrashed and swayed around, leaping onto the crowd at regular intervals and playing up to the adoring masses in the front row.

Cage The Elephant kept the energy at a high, churning out an incredible set that left the punters in a sweaty, quivering heap as they too joined in with the endless crowd surfing. Schultz was gracious enough to embrace the highly enthusiastic stage invader who lapped up his fifteen minutes of fame during the encore, jumping onto the stage and hugging the singer before joining in for some spastic dancing. Highlights of the show included cracking renditions of “Abderdeen”, “Back Against The Wall” and “Shake Me Down”, with the audience singing and dancing along to nearly every track they played. It was a great night of hedonistic fun times with Cage The Elephant proving themselves to be a supreme live talent who are still humble enough to hang back after the show and pose for photos with their fans, which was the perfect end to a near perfect evening.