Beck, Cage the Elephant, Spoon and Sunflower Bean
The Night Running Tour
Forest Hills Stadium
August 17, 2019
On a steamy Saturday afternoon in mid-August, The Night Running Tour hit the stage at Forest Hills Stadium. More like a music festival then simply a standard concert, the collaborative tour which was created by Beck, Cage the Elephant and Spoon added New York glam rockers Sunflower Bean to kick off the fun for this particular show.
People were starting to mill about in the general admission standing area in front of the stage as Sunflower Bean bounded on the stage under the blinding late afternoon sun. A brief but workable six song set warmed up the ever-growing crowd with songs “King of the Dudes” and “I Was a Fool.”
Indie rock darlings Spoon brought their special brand of magic to the stage next. Formed in Austin, Texas in 1993, founding members Britt Daniel on vocals and guitar and Jim Eno on the drums remain with the band and provided the sound that fans have grown to love and expect. Daniel donned a straw cowboy hat and engaged with the crowd on favorites like “No Bullets Spent,” “I Turn My Camera On,” “Do You” and “Rent I Pay.” Too quickly, their raucous set ended, paving the way for Cage the Elephant to begin their epic set.
Lead singer and energetic front man Matt Schultz is a one man theatrical dynamo on stage. He emerged in layers upon layers of clothing and utilized an array of masks and hats to complete the ensemble. He owned the stage as no one else possibly could, dancing, prowling and jumping, all while removing portions of his outfit. Occasionally, he bit at a piece of clothing or marched across stage, holding it aloft in a demonic striptease. Showcasing new material from their recent release Social Cues, the deep stage incorporated fire and a smoke machine. Eventually Schultz, down to just a pair of shorts, made his way across the entire floor and up to the soundboard, stage diving and crawling across the crowd and reaching fans in the nosebleed seats at the furthest end. Musical highlights included “Broken Boy,” “Mess Around,” “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked” and “Shake Me Down” which would essentially be the length of a full headliner’s set. It seemed impossible that any other act could follow this incredible performance.
But Beck shattered all expectations with his twenty plus song musical extravaganza. Not one for saving the best for last, he kicked things off with “Loser,” “Up All Night” and “Girl” which set the tone for the rest of the night. Another high point was “Saw Lightning” off the soon to be released and heavily touted new album Hyperspace. Fans went nuts for the first notes of “Devils Haircut” and “The New Pollution” as well as a cover of “Everybody’s Got to Learn Sometime” by The Korgis and “Good Times” by Chic. But the most memorable moments came when Daniel from Spoon joined in to cover “Pump It Up” by Elvis Costello plus Cage the Elephant’s “Night Running” with singer Shultz. The sweaty, spent crowd filtered out of the famed arena, singing giddily to the notes of songs that would reverberate in their heads for days to come.
Photos by Christine Connallon
Cage the Elephant