TVD Live Shots:
Beck, Cage the Elephant, Spoon, and Wild Belle at Huntington Bank Pavilion, 7/31

On the eve of Lollapalooza, Huntington Bank Pavilion hosted what might as well have been the opening night of the festival as it featured Beck, Cage the Elephant, Spoon, and Wild Belle (all Lolla alums, I might add). Normally I would’ve been fast asleep preparing for the long weekend ahead, but The Night Running tour was not one I wanted to miss. I had a feeling it would be special—and it turns out I was right.

First up was Wild Belle. Siblings Natalie and Eliot Bergman and Erik Hall took the stage looking impeccable in white, as if they’d just stepped off a Caribbean yacht. Their breezy, island vibes sounded like it as well and accentuated the perfect Chicago night. “I think we’re related to most of you,” the Chicago natives joked while thanking the crowd at the end of their set.

Britt Daniels doesn’t age, I’ve decided. The Spoon frontman looks great and sounds great, as does the rest of the band. It’s an invigorating show, and one that showcases Spoon’s impressive discography. My only complaint is that they couldn’t play longer.

Cage the Elephant was up next and exceeded their reputation as electric performers. Siblings Matt and Brad Shultz do most of the work—both animated and captivating in their own ways. But the true stage force is Matt, who is most likely the love child of Iggy Pop and Mick Jagger. He’s exhilarating to watch—from his leaps and high kicks to the way he slowly de-masks and disrobes—from his messages (“We’re going on a journey of love—to love ourselves for who we are and where we are”) to his stage dives. The real show-stopping moment came at their finale, when Matt decided to crowd surf from the stage all the way back to the sound board. Not done, he climbed to the top of the lighting rig (it was at least 2-3 stories high), waved to the crowd, and climbed back down. Wow.

If anyone can go on after Cage the Elephant, it’s Beck. He’s one of the few musicians equipped to hold his own after a Cage the Elephant performance. Backed by cool visuals and a big band, Beck cruised through his timeless classics. How can you even describe Beck? His songs cover so much ground that he’s basically genre-less. He’s in a league of his own, but always eager to collaborate and reinvent.

If you get a chance to see the Night Running Tour (it’s only halfway done!), do it. Not one band in the lineup will disappoint.

WILD BELLE

SPOON

CAGE THE ELEPHANT

BECK

BECK SETLIST
Loser
The New Pollution
Girl
Qué Onda Güero
Black Tambourine
E-Pro
I Want to Take You Higher (Sly & the Family Stone cover)
Wow
Mixed Bizness
Saw Lightning
Devils Haircut
Dreams
Up All Night
Lost Cause
Debra
Where It’s At (Snippet of “Strawberry Fields”… First half )
(Elvis Costello cover – with Britt Daniel of Spoon)
Night Running (Cage the Elephant cover – with Matt Shultz of Cage the Elephant)
Where It’s At (Last half; with Matt Shultz)

CAGE THE ELEPHANT SETLIST
Broken Boy
Cry Baby
Spiderhead
Too Late to Say Goodbye
Cold Cold Cold
Ready to Let Go
Social Cues
Tokyo Smoke
Mess Around
Trouble
Skin and Bones
Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked
Back Against the Wall
It’s Just Forever
Telescope
House of Glass
Come a Little Closer
Shake Me Down
Cigarette Daydreams
Teeth

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