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Cage the Elephant’s Spring Fling Rock AF Tour kicked off March 11th in Fresno, CA and wound its way across the county to end in epic fashion with an explosion that rocked Providence and blew the roof off the Dunkin Donuts center. Radio station 95.5 WBRU fused the event with an April Fool’s Day bash resulting in one of the largest and most wild days of the tour.
Cage the Elephant was joined on tour by Bear Hands, Foals and Silversun Pickups whose lead singer, Brian Aubert openly admitted that the last month had been one big wild party. The final show in Providence was no exception.
Bear Hands opened with a mellow set as the crowd started to slowly enter the stands at the Dunkin Donuts center. However, the mellow mood didn’t persist for long. I was barely prepared for the amazing performance delivered by second opene, Foals. The energy in the venue went from a 5 to an instant 10 as the Oxford bred rock band worked the stage to perfection and the crowd to a frenzy. Lead singer and guitarist Yannis Philippakis made me an instant fan as he owned our attention from beginning to end, laying on the stage and diving into the crowd to wrap the set.
Next to perform was California based Silversun Pickups who wooed us with bright vocals from lead vocalist/guitarist Brian Aubert and the shimmering backing vocals of bassist Nikki Monninger. The Silversun Pickups delivered a solid set opening with “Cradle” from their most recent album Better Nature, lit from behind by an impressive stage lighting setup. The group brilliantly wrapped with their most popular hit “Lazy Eye” which had the crowd singing along and ready and primed for what was about to come.
Cage the Elephant, in their usual form slayed their set. Front man Matthew Shultz is well known for his antics and energy when performing, and this April Fool’s day was no joke. From the first note of the first song the band emitted a contagious energy that you couldn’t pull your eyes away from. Matthew never stopped for a single moment, moving, jumping and dancing, hair flying through their 15 song set list. The group performed a colorful variety of hits from their 4 studio albums. Fans went crazy during their most well-known hit “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked” as Matthew worked his magic, engaging the crowd like only he knows how. During the last song pre-encore, “Come a Little Closer” guitarist Brad Shultz brought his guitar a “little closer” as he shredded from within the thrilled sea of eager fans.
Everyone screamed for more from the group as I entered the pit for a 3 song encore. We were joined by the members of Silversun Pickups who showed their homage and appreciation from the front of the stage. The opening artists were eventually pulled up on stage by Matthew to join in the madness of the encore, singing along and dancing with the group. By the end of the night Matthew was entirely shirtless and hoisted above the crowd. The Spring Fling Tour over and a success, I couldn’t have asked for more.