While the British band Catfish and the Bottlemen are hugely popular back in the UK, it seems like they are just as loved over in the States. Surprisingly, I had not seen them live before, so my first time was at Terminal 5, here in New York City.
The 3,000 capacity venue was the perfect space. It was completely packed, but it still somehow felt intimate. Perhaps that was due to the sea of incredibly passionate fans, who sang every word to every song all evening long. It reminded me of other concerts like Panic! At The Disco or Walk The Moon – a real community of fans, excited to be sharing the experience of seeing their favourite band live.
However, I have to admit that the evening did not start off as well as it ended. The concert was opened by the support act, The Worn Flints. Their twenty-minute set did nothing to get the crowd going – it only made us more eager for Catfish and the Bottlemen to come on. I found myself yawning and checking my phone, wondering when they’d be done, which is a first for me. I can usually get into a support act, even if I’ve never heard of them before. This was different. The only saving grace about their set was its short length. Be thankful for small mercies.
When Catfish and the Bottlemen finally came on, it was like the atmosphere changed with the flick of a switch. The energy levels hit the roof. A combination of the bands lively performance, the hyperactivity of the crowd, the sheer volume of the music and the incredible lighting, all added up to a really amazing vibe. Their set list was perfect; with a mix of songs from both albums – The Ride and The Balcony. They played fan favourites ‘Kathleen’ and ‘Soundcheck’ early on in the set and then finished with ‘7’. The encore was made up of ‘Cocoon’ and the rousing ‘Tyrants’, which was an explosive way to end the show.
For me, what really stood out at the concert were the fans. They all sing adoringly back to frontman Van McCann, who effortlessly swaggers around the stage. Being part of a crowd like that was exhilarating. Everybody was so into it, including the band of course, who seem to really appreciate the frenzy that their music whips up.
Overall, it is safe to say that Catfish and the Bottlemen are asserting themselves as a stadium, rock band – big songs, big crowds and a whole lot of fun.
Catfish and the Bottlemen will be playing at Wembley arena on 15th November. I would seriously recommend going. Though, The Worn Flints are not touring anytime soon, but that’s alright.