Less than a year after gracing the U.S. rock chart’s No.2 spot with their fifth studio album, the Grammy-awarded Social Cues, Kentucky six-piece Cage The Elephant toured Europe in February and March, and returned to Entec as the provider of a versatile lighting package.
Continuing their 14-year career climb towards the premier division of contemporary American live acts, Cage The Elephant’s ace card is undoubtedly frontman Matt Shultz, a born exhibitionist who leaps, kicks and dances his way through the entire night, generating a frenetic intimacy in any size of venue.
In Europe, the band kicked off in the UK with five shows in Leeds, Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham and London, before crossing the Channel for a further six dates with support act SWMRS in tow. Supplying a floor lighting and control package throughout, Entec multiplied its equipment count when the tour reached the O2 Victoria Warehouse in Manchester and London’s Alexandra Palace, arguably the highlight of two weeks on the road.
Active on CTE’s last major European visit, Entec’s services were hired once again through the band’s regular U.S. vendor, Premier Global Productions (PGP), with whom the west London rental firm enjoys a long-standing, interactive relationship.
Headed by production manager Chris Fillery, the crew arrived in London on February 12th to advance the equipment and spend a prep day at John Henry’s while the band rehearsed in a separate studio. Originally CTE’s FOH sound engineer, Chris returned to the fold in 2016 after a seven-year absence to mix monitors for a year until taking on their production management.
Piloted by Robert Fuller (Odesza, Mew, Lifehouse), the lighting design for Europe was effectively an evolution of a show created for their North American amphitheatre tour last year – a production-heavy co-headliner with Beck that saw the band feature an automated overhead lighting pod. For 2020, Robert built on a similar theme but elected to completely redesign a large swathe of the scheme from the ground up.
Chris: “Even though this tour was on a much smaller scale to what the band are used to in the States, it was important to squeeze our budget and attempt to convey an authentic flavour of those bigger shows. That was the basis of my discussions with Entec. I needed them to provide not only a package for the main run but also help us boost the spec for the two bigger shows in the UK, and they really helped us achieve our aims.”
Chris not only voiced his respect for the band and, in particular, their “incredible” frontman, he was also full of praise for the LD, claiming: “Robert is a highly talented professional who has come up with a vast range of looks that create an intimate space in a big room. He’s so committed to his work.”