Cage the Elephant makes appearance to kick off the football season

Cage the Elephant lead singer Matt Shultz crowd surfers during Cage the Elephant’s performance before the first WKU home football game vs Maine on Saturday, Sept. 8 on WKU’s campus.

John Singleton

Last Saturday was a game day to remember for the students, alumni, faculty and staff of WKU. Following a pre-game tailgate, students went straight to South Lawn at 4:30 p.m. for a free concert performed by Cage the Elephant.

Cage the Elephant lead singer Matt Shultz danced across the stage as thousands of students and fans sang along to hit songs by the Grammy Award-winning rock band and Bowling Green natives.

The band played a variety of crowd favorite songs including “In One Ear,” “Trouble,” “Cigarette Daydreams” and “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked.”

Fans crowd surfed throughout the concert, and Schultz took a turn toward the end of the performance.

“Man, it feels good to be home,” Shultz said on stage. “It feels like a family reunion or something.”

The band includes lead singer Matt Shultz, rhythm guitarist Brad Shultz, lead guitarist Nick Bockrath, guitarist and keyboardist Matthan Minster, bassist Daniel Ticheno and drummer Jared Champion.

Cage the Elephant’s third album, Melophobia, earned the band a Grammy Award nomination in 2015 for Best Alternative Music Album. Its fourth album, “Tell Me I’m Pretty,” was released on Dec. 18, 2015 and won the award for Best Rock Album at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards. The band’s newest release, “Unpeeled,” is a live album and was released on July 28, 2017.

Blake Turner, a WKU junior, said he was amazed at how this one band brought everyone together on campus. He said several people he had never even met would come up and talk to him about how excited they were for the show.

“It just stuns me how unified WKU’s campus is right now,” Turner said at the concert. “We all came together as one group to listen to this band, and it was just amazing.”

WKU graduate Jacob Richardson, 26, of Louisville came to the concert because he’s been following the band since middle school.

“I’ve just been so in love with this band for so long, and I grew up with their music, so when I heard they were putting on a show right before the first home game of the football season, I obviously had to make the long drive,” Richardson said.

Alyssa Daviess from Atlanta, Georgia, said she came all the way up to Bowling Green to see the band.

“I came up here because my sister attends WKU, and I thought it would be an awesome experience to see one of our favorite bands that we grew up watching on MTV together,” Daviess said.

President Timothy Caboni introduced the band before the concert and said the concert was a great way to kick off the semester and the football season. Caboni also counted himself a fan of the band, saying his favorite song is “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked.”

“What an amazing experience for our young people and for our entire community that an internationally known Grammy Award-winning band comes here for our first football game,” Caboni said. “This is something that these kids are never going to forget, something I’m never going to forget, and it’s a remarkable day on the Hill.”

Reporter John Singleton can be reached at 270-745-6011 or [email protected].