If you ever wanted to look like alternative rock’s king of stage diving, now you can “come a little closer” to fulfilling that dream. Popular alt rock band Cage the Elephant just released their merchandise line with Vans, a collaboration that has been in the works for quite a while. Fans have anticipated the collab for over two years now, as the first pair of Cage the Elephant Vans was worn by lead singer Matt Schultz during the band’s set at Coachella in 2014. The band’s frontman tweeted a picture of the shoes, thanking Vans for making them for him. The tweet received a positive response from fans, as they too desired their own pair of Cage the Elephant shoes. Now, two years and hundreds of thousands of new followers later, your wish has been granted with not only one pair of band-inspired shoes available to purchase, but an entire line of Cage-inspired merch.
The line includes a selection of shoes, hats, and shirts, available online and in select Vans stores across the country. The online store includes three pairs of shoes and two hats. The shoe selection includes a pair in the classic style, a pair of Old Skool style shoes, and one pair of high tops. The hats include one trucker hat and one snapback. The apparel can be defined by its simplicity, yet uniqueness, a quality that matches Cage’s music. The colors used are neutral, and include shades of cream, brown, black, navy, and white.
The first pair of shoes are titled “Cage The Elephant Authentic” and go for $60.00. The shoes are a pair of cream colored classic low-top Vans. The body of the shoe is covered in what the band calls a “skeleton bird” pattern, and the pair features white laces and brown outsoles. The creamy color of the shoe is appropriate for the band, and matches the creaminess that their music brings in songs including “Come a Little Closer” and “Trouble.” The shoe can be further linked to the former song, as in the music video for “Come a Little Closer,” a creature that closely matches the skeleton bird on the shoes flies through the trippy outer space setting of the video. Although the shoes may be deemed wild due to their unusual pattern, they carry a simplicity that matches Cage’s music.
The skeleton bird on the first pair acts as a motif throughout the line, appearing on the brand’s label. It becomes a symbol for one to recognize the apparel as Cage the Elephant’s. The use of a motif is not unusual for the band, as one can find commonalities within the lyrics of songs across all of Cage’s albums, such as the use of weather to express mood in “Cigarette Daydreams” and “Shake Me Down.”
The other shoes are quite plain in comparison to the first pair, which may be recognized as the feature piece in the line. One pair features a plain white body while the other, a pair of high tops, is a medium-dark denim wash with a light brown leather stripe running around the shoe. The logo is printed on the tongue on both pairs, along with on the inner sole of the shoe. The shoes retail for $70.00 and $67.00 respectively.
The two hats in the line are opposites of one another, one featuring a black body with the logo stitched in white, the other a white body with the logo in black. The black hat, a trucker-style cap, retails for $26.00 while the white snapback goes for $32.00. Similar to the two pairs of plain shoes, the hats are simple, providing a juxtaposition to the feature pair of shoes in the line. This contrast again provides commonality between the apparel and the band’s music, as there are often vast differences ranging between songs, such as the soft, gentle vibe of “Telescope,” followed by the loud desperation of “It’s Just Forever”on the band’s third album, “Melophobia.”
The drop of the merch comes at a perfect time for the band, as their popularity continues to rise with the exposure from recent and upcoming shows. The band has quite the Fall festival schedule: they just played at The Meadows festival on October 2 in Queens, NY, and they plan to appear at Austin City Limits in Texas on October 8, and Voodoo festival on October 29 in New Orleans. If you can’t make it to a show, check out the band on Spotify or Apple Music.