Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore music from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!

Cage The Elephant, Come A little Closer. Album: Melophobia (2013)

This was released as the first single from Cage The Elephant’s third album, Melophobia. Vocalist Matt Shultz told the story of the song to MusicRadar.com. “We were in the Buenos Aires airport, and I saw this amazing flamenco guitarist who was busking,” he recalled. “He had this whole gypsy thing going on. The music he played was very hypnotic and powerful – you could hear the burdens of his heart. I got inspired and grabbed my guitar. I went to the next terminal – there weren’t that many people in this one yet – and I started playing what in my head was Bulgarian folk.”

“I wrote the verse at the airport, inspired by the thought of things appearing different at first and then seeing them in a new light,” Shultz continued. “We went on to San Paulo, and I remember being in my hotel and looking out one morning at this makeshift city on a hill. There were tarps and scrap metal, all of these little boxes with people inside of them. It made me think of an ant hill, but then I also thought, ‘No, wait, these are people living their lives.’ It made me want to look closer. That became the chorus.”

“Once I showed the parts to the band,” Shultz concluded, “we went to a rehearsal studio, pieced everything together, and there was the song. But it all started in that airport in Buenos Aires. Funny how that works sometimes.”

Guitarist Lincoln Parish told Loudwire how the song came together: “After we had written it, we liked it when we first wrote it. But then we went and demoed it in my studio and we kind of felt like polka,” he explained. “The verse had a different feel and beat to it. Kind of a polka feel. Then we listened to it back and were like, I don’t even think we ended up turning that version of the demo in to management, we weren’t that happy with it. We just let it sit and then we were back in the studio with Jay (Joyce, producer), it wasn’t even a song that we were trying to cut. Then he was like, well what other songs can we do? Towards the last little bit we were kind of, well what songs do we have left to cut? Or what songs do we want to cut and not cut. We decided and Jay was like, we should do this one. We’re like yeah, but the verse, we didn’t like the feel. He was like, figure it out. So, we just sat around and actually just dumbed it down and made it a little more simple than it was originally. The chorus is the same, but the verse changed as far as making it more straightforward and simple.”

Psychedelic Lunch

Written By Braddon S. Williams aka “The Concert Critic”

On this date in history, 8/4/2019, a group of friends and I attended The Night Running Tour, featuring co-headliners Beck and Cage The Elephant, with support from Spoon and Wild Belle. This diverse lineup hit the stage at Deer Creek (Ruoff blah, blah, blah) in Noblesville, IN on a picture perfect Midwest sunny day.

Wild Belle kicked things off with a set of mellow electronica, psychedelic pop, and soulful grooves. I enjoyed the first 2 or 3 songs, but ultimately felt Wild Belle were a little bland for my taste. They had a great sound mix (as did every band on the bill) and looked sharp in their fashionable white outfits, but I just felt they stuck around a little too long.

Up next was Spoon, who I just discovered are from Texas. This kind of surprised me, as I found their sound to be kind of British pop influenced, and very smoothly executed. I enjoyed Spoon a lot more than the opening band, likely due to much stronger songs and more of a rock band vibe.

Cage The Elephant delivered a fantastic set filled with the antics of the wildly entertaining lead vocalist, Matt Shultz. In no way do I want to imply that Mr. Shultz was under the influence of any drugs or alcohol, but that would certainly go a long way towards explaining his choice of stage clothing, unorthodox physical movements, and cryptic speeches between songs.

Vocally he was on point, delivering his songs with loads of passion and consistency, on pitch throughout Cage’s long set. The band played with fiery intensity and all seemed to be having a lot of fun (and a shared amusement at their singer’s actions). When the final song began, Shultz headed into the pavilion seating area (where he had previously serenaded audience members for an entire song earlier in the set) and then out into the lawn, where excited crowd members thronged around the security guards who tried to shield the fearless singer. Eventually the song ended, and Shultz was lifted into the air by the wildly enthusiastic fans. He wound up crowd surfing all the way to the back fence of the venue, where he then climbed onto the roof of the gazebo in back, striking a victorious pose on the peak of the building, soaking up the thunderous ovation!

Beck closed the concert with a phenomenal light show, an incredible band, and his own quirky and funky delivery of his many hits. The years have been quite kind to Beck, because he still looks the same as he did back in the early 90’s, and he was equally effective with a few songs performed solo on guitar as he was with the full force of that airtight band.

A long final song that also featured the return of Matt Shultz and Natalie Bergman from Wild Belle, plus loads of confetti and a great atmosphere of pure party time fun, was the perfect ending to a diverse and massively entertaining concert.

This one was outside of my comfort zone and I have to admit I should venture there more often!

On This Day in History