Catfish and the Bottlemen, Simplicity at its Finest

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Catfish and the Bottlemen, Simplicity at its Finest

Photo Courtesy of Catfish and the Bottlemen's Official Twitter.

Photo Courtesy of Catfish and the Bottlemen's Official Twitter.

Photo Courtesy of Catfish and the Bottlemen's Official Twitter.

Photo Courtesy of Catfish and the Bottlemen's Official Twitter.

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With a name like The Catfish and the Bottlemen, the band does more than just spark curiosity, it is becoming a staple for indie rock. The band made a promising return to the Pageant on March 13, and truly brought the unique sound it is known for.

 

The Pageant closed off the balcony and moved tables and chairs from two of the main seating areas made for this concert to be a tight and packed venue, filled with people soaked to the bone from the torrential downpour that was occurring outside before the concert started. The lights were dimmed as a version of the Beatles classic “Helter Skelter” began to play over the speakers, drawing the crowd’s attention. The band members nonchalantly crossed the stage to their assigned instruments and with the words from Van McCann, the lead vocalist, he started the show with a simple, “We have arrived.”

 

The band started off the show with one of their newest singles, just having been released in January, “Longshot.” The band is currently promoting their upcoming album “The Balance,” which has a planned release date for April 26, is the point of the March/April tour they have currently planned.

 

One thing to note about the transitions between songs for the band is that after almost every song the stage would go to black so that none of the members could be seen. It was a unique choice for the band to make, to constantly end each song with a black stage for a good 10 – 30 second black stage before all the lights surrounding the stage would light back up to the new song. Even their logo for the new upcoming album, a toucan drinking a soda with a straw, would go black each time, and would light up throughout the show. It made the viewer think that at any moment it could be their last song, and with the way the band threw themselves into each song you never knew what would be the last.

 

The band made the front load pretty heavy with classics that made fans originally drawn to them, like “Kathleen,” “Pacifier” and “Soundcheck.” With this strategy in mind it, fans who really know their music were for the songs that made them die-hard fans.

 

A disappointment is the fact that the band did not take time to ever address the audience, except thanking them and encouraging them to clap along. It was very much mechanical, going from one song to the next without introductions or any backing stories to them. The crowd did not seem to mind though, encouraging them with each new song that was played.

 

The group dynamics were also interesting to watch, no main attention was ever directed at anyone, McCann even as the lead singer. He would draw attention to the other band members and never do anything too crazy on stage that would draw him away from the rest of the band. Most lead singers tend to take the front and center and run with it, leaving their bandmates in the dust, but McCann is the exception. The only moment McCann really did this was to perform an acoustic version of their song, “Hourglass,” which showed the softer side of the indie rock band.

 

The band ended the show with their song “Tyrants,” and the crowd could tell this was the leading moment to the finale. The group got the crowd amped and McCann did the most moving around stage in this one song than he did all evening. He walked on to the amps and hung his guitar up on the lit-up toucan feature before the band all exited the stage one-by-one, just like how they entered. They did not even come back out for encore, even though the crowd seemed to be begging for more and hoping it was some sort of joke.

 

The Catfish and the Bottlemen do not need any crazy tricks or illusions to make their shows entertaining. They proved that if you make good music, you are guaranteed a good show. They do not need to hide behind confetti cannons or intricate light displays, all they need are their instruments and a crowd.