REVIEW: Spring Fling


Cage The Elephant in concert

Kate Porter, Reporter

One word to describe the night; Exuberant. The liveliness of both the crowd and the performances sparked and created a heart-warming atmosphere and an unforgettable experience. The Spring Fling Rock AF 2016 tour line up consisted of Bear Hands, Foals, Silversun Pickups, and Cage the Elephant: who are all well known for both performance and high energy stage presence. Despite the cold chills throughout the Hartford XL Center, it didn’t take long for these bands to warm up the crowd give a great concert.

The first performance was from indie rock band Bear Hands. Native to Connecticut, the group connected with their audience through sharing stories of their time spent living in Hartford: “I remember taking the train very,very early each morning,” lead vocalist Dylan Rau recalls, “It’s great to be back and see some familiar faces.”

The group performed songs from their previous album Distraction and from their newest album You’ll Pay For This with lots of jumping and countless somersaults. Songs such as “Agora” and “2AM” mixed in with flashing laser lights and dedicated performers were a great start to the night.

Set List

  1. Peacekeeper
  2. Bone Digger
  3. Marathon Man
  4. What a Drag
  5. Agora
  6. 2AM
  7. Giants

Supporting their album What Went Down, English indie rock band Foals was the next act. Lead vocalist and guitarist Yannis Philippakis showed he was not afraid of getting intimate with the crowd by stage diving numerous times. On the first few dives, he was swallowed up by the pit, but soon the fans got the hang of it and were able to hold him up as he jammed out on his guitar. Foals performed popular songs such as “What Went Down” and “Mountain At My Gates” whilst maintaining the intimacy with the audience.

Set List

  1. Snake Oil
  2. Olympic Airways
  3. My Number
  4. Give it All
  5. Providence
  6. Spanish Sahara
  7. Mountain at My Gates
  8. Inhaler
  9. What Went Down

Silversun Pickups, a crowd favorite, supported their new album Better Nature. Although the band was anchored down at the microphones with their instruments, they were still an outstanding piece of the night. The alternative band’s performance was new and comparatively different to the previous acts for lead vocalist and guitarist Brian Aubert’s voice is a lot softer and compliments greatly with bassist Nikki Monninger.

SSPU clung on to the audience’s attention not only with an incredible music performance, but with humor as well: “Nikki always gets nervous when we play this song,” Aubert announced while introducing “Circadian Rhythm”, “So everybody stare at Nikki!”


  1. Cradle (Better Nature)
  2. Well Thought Out Twinkles
  3. The Royal We
  4. Nightlight
  5. Circadian Rhythm (Last Dance)
  6. The Pit
  7. Friendly Fires
  8. Latchkey Kids
  9. Panic Switch
  10. Dots and Dashes (Enough Already)
  11. Lazy Eye

Cage the Elephant’s performance was truly an experience. Once the group set foot on stage, the energy shifted. Rhythm guitarist Brad Shultz made an entrance by approaching the microphone before his bandmates had arrived on stage and stated, “Everyone stand up, this is a concert not a movie theater!”

Once the crowd stood up from their seats, the performance began. Lead vocalist Matt Shultz is known for his incredible stage presence full of running and dancing around stage, standing on his bandmates backs, extreme stage dives, and walking/climbing through the pits of concert-goers all while singing through each song. With this knowledge expectations on a good performance were high and CTE did not disappoint.

Throughout each tune, the band members had their fair share of stage dives and plenty of dancing and jumping with outstanding energy all while maintaining their vocals and instruments. At one point, Brad Shultz had thrown a guitar into the crowd after finding it broken. Security kept retrieving the guitar back, but once the guitar got back to Shultz he would throw it back out again.

After a few minutes of the cycle, Matt Shultz had made several joking comments towards the comedic situation: “Bradley, could we play a song now?” and “Take the strap off, it’s the most valuable part.”

CTE played songs off of all four of their albums, and even after 15 songs, the crowd wanted more and chanted for an encore. On their encore, the group played the ever-so popular “Cigarette Daydreams” off of Melophobia, “Shake Me Down” off of Thank You, Happy Birthday, And “Teeth” off of Melophobia.

During their last song of the night, “Teeth”, Matt Shultz leaped into the crowd, crawled to the back of the pit, stood up on two feet while fans held him up, and sang out the last few lyrics without a microphone: Absolutely breathtaking. The concert was truly the highlight of my year and let me tell you, there is no better feeling than dancing in a room full of people singing “Even on a cloudy day, I’ll keep my eyes fixed on the sun” along with your favorite band.

Set List:

  1. Cry Baby
  2. In One Ear
  3. Spiderhead
  4. Take It or Leave It
  5. Aberdeen
  6. Too Late to Say Goodbye
  7. Cold Cold Cold
  8. Trouble
  9. Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked
  10. Mess Around
  11. Punchin’ Bag
  12. Teloscope
  13. Back Against the Wall
  14. It’s Just Forever
  15. Come a Little Closer


  1. Cigarette Daydreams
  2. Shake Me Down
  3. Teeth