Beck and Cage the Elephant sparking up Park Theater
It’s yet to be determined how much running will actually occur when the Beck-headlining The Night Running Tour comes to town, at least where second-billed Cage the Elephant are concerned. Lead guitarist Nick Bockrath, according to a June 13 post on the band’s website, “sustained a pretty gnarly knee injury” that caused the cancellation of Cage the Elephant’s summer tour of Europe. While despondent, the band had until early July for Bockrath to heal and figure out a way to play while staying stationary.
Vocalist Matt Shultz wrote that the dates were the first cancellations of a 13-year career, which started in Bowling Green, Ken., but took off after the band moved to London in 2008 and released their self-titled debut album. Third single “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked” became an alternative rock hit, showcasing Cage the Elephant’s blend of classic rock, funk and swamp blues.
Bockrath replaced founding member Lincoln Parish, who left on good terms, in December 2013, just in time to contribute to Cage’s Grammy-winning fourth full-length Tell Me I’m Pretty. Latest album Social Cues was released in April, and features a track with Beck that inspired the tour’s name. Fans of both acts will expect to witness Beck performing “Night Running” onstage with Cage, but the door to further live collaboration during the tour is wide open and may be too tempting to pass up.
Beck has arguably proven to be one of the most prolific and eclectic artists of his generation. His latest single, “Saw Lightning,” precedes the release of his next album, Hyperspace, and finds him working with Pharrell Williams, who joins in on drums and piano. Beck himself frames his own acoustic slide guitar playing in a contemporary production context, as he did on breakout hit “Loser,” making the single complete a career cycle that found the Grammy-winning solo artist mixing and matching country blues, funk, dance music and other styles he was exposed to during his formative years.
Spoon observes a 25-year career milestone while participating in the Night Running Tour, and enjoyed the endorsements of several presidential candidates as the summer began. The band released its ninth studio album, Hot Thoughts, more than two years ago, but is preparing career retrospective recording Everything Hits at Once: The Best of Spoon, with some rarities that may have slipped past the attention of devotees, for release this summer.
The band campaigned for Beto O’Rourke in October, playing the Clash’s “Clampdown” during a festival in Dallas that served as a de facto rally. Spoon shared video on their social media of Democratic presidential nominee Pete Buttigieg playing “The Way We Get By” on piano before an event, leading to media speculation as to whether being a Spoon fan should be considered a qualification for the country’s chief executive.
With some of their members barely old enough to vote, L.A. shock rockers Starcrawler open the show. Statuesque lead singer Arrow de Wilde’s onstage antics and the bands back-to-basics, uninhibited approach have created media buzz on both sides of the Atlantic for an act that could easily qualify as the Next Big Thing.
Park Theater at Park MGM, 7 p.m. July 19, $65.95-$165.95 plus tax and fee. 844.600.7275