Knitting Factory - Brooklyn

03. 10. 2015

To me, up and coming fame is best represented in the form of people willingly standing outside in the pouring rain, waiting to get into a venue to see your band.  That was the exact scenario Tuesday night at The Knitting Factory Brooklyn, where UK sensation Catfish and the Bottlemen played a sold out second surprise NYC show.

Before The Bottlemen graced the stage, which was decorated with amplifiers adorned with Ewan McGregor’s face on them (a friend of the band’s), the opening act had to set the atmosphere for the evening. Being the opening act, especially for a band with as much buzz as The Bottlemen has around them, could be an intimidating venture. However, a foursome hailing from San Antonio, Texas named Wild Party, lived up to their band’s name, giving the rain-soaked room reason to dance with their high energy, pop-infused set.

Catfish and the Bottlemen are now nearing the end of their first U.S tour for debut album The Balcony. But fear not, the boys will return stateside in June for a series of shows and festivals – appearances including Bonnaroo and Webster Hall on June 16th.  Since their late-night debut performance of “Kathleen” on The Late Show with David Letterman, the group has acquired quite the following in the U.S., which was proven by the crowd of screaming girls rushing the stage on Tuesday.

As soon as I saw the band enter from stage right, I found the setting reminiscent of Arctic Monkey gigs circa the Humbug era. Ironic, considering Jim Abbiss (Arctic Monkeys, Adele) produced their LP.  The electrifying eleven-song set was one that left attendees – including myself – with a hangover the next morning. I can’t imagine that most people didn’t wake with a pounding headache from screaming the lyrics back to the band all throughout their set.

Van McCann (lead singer/guitarist) graciously thanked the audience in between every song for their consistent support throughout their band’s career. He also added that he was losing his voice and apologized profusely throughout the evening for not being able to give the crowd 100%. If that was the band not even at their full potential, then other bands need to start taking note.  McCann was as vibrant as the blazing red stage lights, thrashing his guitar around wildly and ending the show passionately throwing his mic stand and falling to the floor, guitar in tow – as rockers do. 

Between their catchy hooks, mid-90’s grunge appeal, and overall humbleness towards their newfound success, their sold out shows aren’t coming as much of a surprise to anybody. Catfish and the Bottlemen are on the fast track to Arctic Monkeys style fame, and they aren’t slowing down any time soon.



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