Sleeper Agent/Manchester Orchestra/cage The Elephant 06/09/11
Showbox – Seattle, WA
Words by jakobross424/Photos via Concert Confessions vault
Last night, I witnessed quite an amazing concert. I might as well just skip the drive to the show, so let’s just say everything was happy and we got there with all of our limbs in the right places. Upon arriving at the Showbox, the doors had not opened yet. We waited in line for about 45 minutes and we were finally able to go in. Yay! I bought my Cage the Elephant shirt and then waited an hour for the first band to go on stage.
The first band was a very new band that was a six-piece from Kentucky called Sleeper Agent. The only way I could describe it is if The White Stripes multiplied, hired Patti Smith as the lead singer, and then hired to old guys for the rhythm section. The band was better than I anticipated, actually. They only played about 7 songs in 30 minutes, but I enjoyed them. The lead singer looked like the offspring of Joey Ramone and Patti Smith; the keyboardist looked like the singer from Wolfmother; the bassist looked like Foo Fighters’ bassist Nate Mendel, just with longer hair; the drummer looked like Mike Portnoy from Dream Theater; the rhythm guitarist looked like Justin Bieber. Be that is it may, the band still rocked and I am looking forward to their debut album this August.
It was a mystery who would go on next, because throughout the tour Cage headlined some nights and Manchester headlined others. Tonight, it was Manchester who headlined. It took about 20 minutes to sound check and prepare the stage, so it didn’t take too much waiting. When the lights went down, the speakers played “Ain’t No Rest For the Wicked” by Cage the Elephant. The crowd sang along, but were disappointed when Manchester Orchestra came out.
Lead singer Andy Hull looked remarkably liked Zach Galifianakis. You know, the guy from the Hangover? So, the band played a set that comprised of new songs like “April Fool” and “Simple Math”, as well as fan favorites like “I’ve Got Friends” and “Shake It Out.” I hadn’t heard much from the band before the show, so I only knew a couple songs, but the band certainly won over the crowd as well as rocking their fans into the next dimension. I expected their songs to be a little slower and quieter, but Manchester had the sound and energy of a punk band. They aren’t my favorite band and I probably wouldn’t see them again, but they certainly rocked the crowd.
“Hello, we are Cage the Elephant,” boasted lead singer Andy Hull about half way through the set. Andy also donned a Cage the Elephant shirt. There was a lot of pushing going on; it was literally a push war between the people and the front and the people in the middle. I really feel bad for those in the front whose ribs were crushed. After Manchester finished, a small chunk of people actually left the Showbox as if they didn’t care to see Cage the Elephant, which I found to be almost impossible.
After about another 30 minutes of sound check and stage preparation, the house lights went down. The crowd cheered and waited for the band. Naturally, lead singer Matt Shultz came onto the stage last, because he was what the crowd was most excited to see. They came out and played a 60’s-pop sounding song called 2024. I sang along and the crowd enjoyed it, although it wasn’t one of their faster songs. The next song they played got the crowd to jump and move and mosh, and it was fantastic. The song was called “In One Ear”, and I sang and jumped and whatnot. I felt like a little girl at a Justin Bieber concert, except I don’t have any fantasies about Matt Shultz.
They played about 17 or 18 songs, which is about 2/3 of all the songs they have ever released. They played songs like “Tiny Little Robots”, “Lotus”, “Around My Head”, “Back Against the Wall.” As the band was ending their set, they played fan-favorite “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked”, and more recent song “Sabertooth Tiger.” They left the stage, but the crowd was not done. “CAGE CAGE CAGE CAGE,” they chanted. After two minutes and a quick tune of the guitars from the roadies, the band was back for a couple more songs. They played a heartfelt “Shake Me Down” and Pavement song “False Skorpion.” Towards the end of False Skorpion, Matt did his infamous and almost ritual crowd surf. He got into a position to where he could literally stand on the crowd and it was like he had a connection with us.
“You guys are possibly the best crowd of the entire tour,” said Matt. Seattle was the last city of the Cage/Manchester co-headlining tour. “From now on, we are going to end every show in Seattle.” The night was fabulous and it ended with sore legs, a sore throat, and ringing ears. But, it was a night I may never forget.