After arriving at SXSW on Tuesday evening, March 17th and settling in, the GATRS made immediate plans to go see Catfish and the Bottlemen at Latitude 30 on “dirty” 6th Street.
The four-piece Welsh “lids,” made up of Van McCann (vocals/guitar), Johnny Bond (BV/lead guitar), Benjamin Blakeway (BV/bass), and Bob Hall (drums). Even though I have seen Catfish and the Bottlemen before, this would be my third time, the excitement never dies.
The GATRS were fortunate enough to chat with the lids before they took the stage at 12:00 am.
You can hear the conversations around the room start to simmer as the band, which everyone has been talking about, finally makes their appearance on the stage. They start their seven-piece set with Rango; a song with killer beats and amazing vocals. The crowd seemed to take notice as fewer people were talking and more people were facing the stage and shaking their head along, enjoying Catfish and the Bottlemen’s first song of the set. The next song they played was Pacifier, and then my absolute favorite, Fallout. This is a song that will have you in a trance as you hear Van’s gorgeous vocals. One of my favorite parts was when he did a note change for the word “why” in the line that’s “why nobody gets me,” it was absolutely breathtaking.
They played the most well-known song, Kathleen, next. People in the crowd were joining in on the singing and so many people outside the venue stopped in their tracks to listen and watch the band perform. The whole vibe of the concert was electrifying.
Before their last song, Tyrants, they played Homesick and then Cocoon. Throughout their tour, the last song played was always Tyrants; it’s also the last song on their album, The Balcony. If you ask me, this is the greatest song to end a concert and album with. It has raging guitar riffs and outstanding beats. This song will captivate you and make you dance and sing like never before. When the last beat of Tyrants ended, the crowd went insane, showing their appreciation for the whole performance.
Catfish and the Bottlemen certainly do not disappoint, they deliver everything and more than what’s expected. The band definitely knows what they’re doing in the music industry and recognition is finally starting to happen for them.