Concert Reviews

Catfish and the Bottlemen at The Garrison

Photographs by Dakota Arsenault.

Deemed as another overnight sensation, Catfish and the Bottlemen showed Toronto they’re here for the long run. Travelling across North America in support of their debut album, The Balcony, the Welsh rockers stopped by The Garrison for a sold out show. Their short yet solid set proved Catfish and the Bottlemen are legends in the making.

The band appeared on stage backed by Outkast’s “Roses” and the persistent cheering of the crowd.  As the instrumentals gave way into “Rango”, it’s clear this quartet has nothing to prove.

The audience was treated to youthful exuberance and heavy guitar playing at its very best. The Bottlemen appeared to be right in their element as they performed an 11-track set, which included “Fallout”, “Kathleen”, and “Homesick”.  To watch the crowd be so involved after the first song was quite incredible and the band was thankful for the support 

With a 70’s inspired look and vintage rock sound, Van McCann displayed all the ingredients of an excellent frontman.  His larger than life energy was enough to please those in attendance. And if you were still questioning McCann’s credibility as a performer, all was put to rest after his solo acoustic performance of “Hourglass”.  It was the standout piece of the evening as it changed the pace from the otherwise loud, guitar-ridden material. Although the lyrics appear a bit crude, McCann sang it unapologetically.

Catfish and the Bottlemen know how to entertain. I was amazed not only by their potential but also by their humbleness. Throughout the night, McCann stated how much the band truly appreciates the support they’ve received this past year. The band has been diligently working hard to be where they are now.  And according to McCann, they’re ready for album two and so are the fans. The Bottlemen closed out with “Tyrants” where the instrumentals will have you begging for more. If you haven’t seen these guys live, you should!

Thanks to Live Nation Ontario for media access.

About author

Administrator by day, concert writer by night. When she isn’t writing reviews, Tashana often spends time exploring the city or is at home watching a good drama on television. You can check her out on Twitter @tbilley.