Catfish And The Bottlemen's Triumphant Return to The Rave on 5.9.17
This past Tuesday evening, Catfish And The Bottlemen rocked the stage at The Rave, returning for their third visit to the Milwaukee concert hall. The set kicked off with "Homesick" from their debut album The Balcony, the crowd instantly echoing the lyrics back to the four piece group, and the energy only accelerated from there. The band released their sophomore album The Ride just about a year ago, but the majority of their 14 song set was composed of songs from their debut album.
Lead singer Van McCann kept the classic songs fresh by alternating the lyrics in "Business" from how they read in the studio version, and the band all worked together to amplify the live version of every song, feeding off one another's and the crowd's energy. During the mid-set performance of their single "Twice" from The Ride, McCann and lead guitarist Johnny Bond (aka Bondy) played their guitars back-to back. The pace only slowed down towards the later half of the set, when Bondy, bassist Benji Blakeway, and drummer Bob Hall left the stage to leave McCann to perform their acoustic track "Hourglass" solo. The audience added a choir-like effect, singing the words back to McCann as he performed the stripped back song.
The energy skyrocketed for the last few songs of the evening, which included the single "7" and the iconic track "Cocoon." Just after McCann expressed his gratitude for the audience and their support act, The Worn Flints, the crowd began a chant for "Rango," a track from The Balcony. Unfortunately for the diehard "Rango" fans, the band did not oblige and moved straight into the final song of the set, "Tyrants." Drawn out and dynamic, the live version of "Tyrants" goes above and beyond the studio version, making Catfish And The Bottlemen one of the best live bands around. If you get the chance to see them perform, do not miss out!
All photos by Rachel Zyzda