The Rolling Stones are nothing short of legendary. Mick Jagger’s swagger and moves as a frontman on stage have inspired numerous other musicians as well as a Maroon 5 song. Keith Richards’ status as a universally loved guitarist will keep his name immortalized. That, and his role as Jack Sparrow’s father in the third “Pirates of The Caribbean” film.

 

Their influence has paid off in an amazing form. By way of Nashville with a relocation to London, Cage The Elephant has been doing nothing short of dominating the rock music industry recently, even receiving the 2017 Grammy for Best Rock Album for their album “Tell Me I’m Pretty”. If one were to listen to that album and see them live, they would understand exactly why Cage The Elephant earned every molecule of that Grammy award.

 

(Rob Grabowski/Invision/AP)

Matt Shultz, the lively and energetic frontman who most recently sang their entire set at Lollapalooza 2017 in a pink dress, never stands still when performing and bares an almost picture-perfect resemblance to Mick Jagger on stage. Guitarist and brother of the frontman Brad Shultz plays with the integrity and crowd-captivating power that only Keith Richards could replicate. Let’s all hope Brad Shultz plays Jack Sparrow’s brother in a future film.

 

I’ve had the life-changing pleasure of seeing them live twice, at Austin City Limits 2016 and Free Press Summer Fest 2017. Both times, they were easily the best show at the festival and mind you, I wasn’t anywhere near the stage. Few bands can mesmerize an audience while on stage quite like Cage The Elephant, with an honorable mention to The Struts. At multiple points during the set, Matt Shultz went crowd surfing, stood on the hands of fans to perform and gyrate in the air and even slipped on stage, which caused Brad Shultz to stand over his brother and belt out a solo that could be described most accurately as “badass”. Matt Shultz lifted the microphone stand above his head so often that I was a bit worried he would throw it into the audience.  

 

In staying true to the many amazing live albums that the Rolling Stones have, Cage The Elephant themselves have released their first of hopefully many live albums. A far cry from their hard-rocking “Tell Me I’m Pretty”, the stripped down live album, appropriately titled “Unpeeled” contains 21 of their best songs. All the classics, “Cold Cold Cold”,”Shake Me Down”, and of course, “Ain’t No Rest for The Wicked”, all played acoustically and occasionally with an orchestral background to a live audience.

 

It sounds different yet equally as glorious, with a piano heavy tone instead of electric guitar. Don’t think they sacrificed any of their unique quality, though. The crowd chanting the lyrics of “Cigarette Daydreams” is a hauntingly beautiful testament to the band’s impact on their fans and the fan’s mutually shared love of the experimental yet captivating sounds of this new album.

 

Some tracks such as “Right Before My Eyes” sound more like a song that a newly married couple would dance to, albeit with somewhat depressing lyrics. Cage The Elephant also proves that they can do an astonishing cover of a song, too. In this case, the Wreckless Eric classic “Whole Wide World” is covered by them and is covered magnificently, with the orchestra adding a special sense of beauty.

 

Easily one of the best albums of this year, “Unpeeled” could very well give Cage The Elephant the dubious honor of double-Grammy winners. And if not, they’ll rest easy knowing that they experimented with a different sound yet their fans, myself certainly included, loved it across the board.

 

Are you a Cage The Elephant fan or would you like to tell me about a band? Tweet me at @CaptainKasoff because I’m always looking for new bands.