St. Louis was rocked by a whirlwind of emotions on Tuesday night as Beck and Cage the Elephant brought their Night Running Tour to the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre. The show was a masterpiece of musical diversity that somehow seemed to fit together perfectly. With the help of special guests, Wild Belle and Spoon, the audience experienced the beauty of alternative music from four completely different views.
Wild Belle warmed up the crowd with an aesthetic fit for Stevie Nicks. The dreamy set included new songs like “Everybody One of a Kind” and created a calming buzz around the amphitheatre as audience members trickled in.
Spoon took the crowd to the next level with the epitome of alt-cool. Forget theatrics, Spoon engaged the crowd simply with their ability to play good music. Between their instrumental talents and their Catfish and the Bottlemen sound, the band was able to get the energy amped with songs like “The Way We Get By” and “Rent I Pay.”
Cage the Elephant took the audience through a theatrical trip, enticing even the most skeptical concert goers. Through a self proclaimed broken heart, cutting his face mid-song, and running through the amphitheatre to interact with the crowd, frontman, Matt Shultz, gave a phenomenal performance that felt vulnerable and raw. Each song was a completely new experience, creating a complete masterpiece by the end of the 75 minute set. A wall of fire accompanied “Too Late to Say Goodbye,” green smoke smothered the stage through “Tokyo Smoke,” and Shultz even ripped an umbrella apart during “Cigarette Daydreams.” The Grammy Award winners knew how to entertain their crowd, but even more than that, they showed compassion and authenticity as they paused to remind the crowd that it’s okay to be broken and feel weakness sometimes. Cage the Elephant personified alternative rock music in the truest form, and gave the audience so many moments to reminisce through each song.
The alt-rock icon, Beck, finished the night out with a trippy set that only Beck could pull off. It kicked off with 90s anthem, “Loser,” and only amped up from there. The set continued on with hits like “Devil’s Haircut” and “Que Onda Guero” and was boosted along the way with visuals of illuminati triangles, warped shapes, and an incredible amount of strobe lights. It was evident that the night had turned into a party for the Grammy Award winner, as the crowd sang and danced along to each song. Beck then brought Matt Shultz back out to crescendo the party with their song together, “Night Running” and a funky celebration of “Where It’s At,” complete with an infinite number of confetti guns, elaborate dance moves, and large metallic inflatable balloons bouncing around above the crowd.
It was a night of art, fun, angst, and raw joy. It was what every concert should emulate. To sum up the night in the words of Beck, “It’s like WOW.”