“I did not sleep last night, Los Angeles,” confessed Matt Shultz, lead singer of Cage the Elephant. At Weenie Roast 2017, a concert featuring some of the world’s most famous alt-rock artists, the Californian crowd did not know how to respond.
The StubHub center, filled with over 20,000 people, fell silent.
Matt’s brother, Brad, ended the silence with a powerful guitar riff that demanded the stadium jump along. The two brothers’ spastic dancing captivated the audience for the rest of their performance. To look away from them would have been nearly impossible.
The sun lowered as they played through their set, casting red shadows over the illuminated performers. Sounds emitted from their amplifiers were loud, thick, and whole. Perhaps the combination of these is what made Cage the Elephant the standout act of the night.
However, there were many other incredible performances last night.
Even though she was quiet and had much less on-stage energy, Lana Del Rey was another artist that I could not tear my eyes away from. Her beauty and soft aesthetic mesmerized as she slowly danced across the stage. The way she carried herself was intriguing, and it is likely that if she did not sing at all, the audience still would have adored her.
After her, Paramore made their “return,” performing in front of a stadium crowd for the first time in two years. It was evident that they were thrilled to show the world their new look and sound. So thrilled, in fact, that they played their new single, “Hard Times,” twice in their set. Once to open and once to close. Their performance was the epitome of “fun,” bringing a fan on stage to sing with them.
The only disappointment of the night was when the band, Dream Car, took to the stage. The general feeling was that everyone wished they were still No Doubt. That, or that they would at least play a No Doubt song.
Instead, the band played their bizarre ‘80s-meets-future songs and the new lead singer’s personality progressively became more irritating.
Other personalities shone, though, especially Lorde’s. Due to technical difficulties with both the sound and the monitors during her performance, she had to spend approximately seven minutes talking to the crowd, killing time.
At first she was awkward and visibly nervous, but the crowd bantered with her and encouraged her to relax. She slowly decided to sit on the edge of the stage, with her feet hanging off, and asked audience members about their day.
When the monitors and microphones were back online, she effortlessly jumped back into her performer persona.
When the show ended, green confetti snowed over the audience as security guards ushered people out of the stadium. Shoving handfuls of confetti into their pockets, the crowd left the concert singing and hollering, thankful to have watched such a celebrated group of artists.
Technical difficulties aside, KROQ’s annual Weenie Roast was phenomenal, yet again.