Concert Review: Wild Party, Catfish and the Bottlemen, February 24, Schubas Tavern


Nothing will make me unwittingly walk into a pole faster than a good looking guy on a bike. Unless that good looking guy on a bike has an instrument. Then I’m likely to walk into a fountain. Whoever designed the cover of Wild Party’s 2014 album Phantom Pop understands that impulse – the cover sports a line-drawn, lanky gentleman commuting on his bike with a guitar slung across his back. Check, check and check. The only thing that could possibly make it better is if he was on his bike, with his guitar, and also eating an apple … and maybe some sweeping brown hair … mmm what was I saying?

Right, Schubas Tuesday night – the gentlemen who make up Wild Party (and who aren’t too bad looking themselves) took to the stage to open for Catfish and the Bottlemen. The foursome out of San Antonio, Texas played a blazing 30 minute set to the sold out crowd, filled with gems from Phantom Pop. While the crowd was clearly excited for Catfish, there was quite a bit of love for the Texans as well, and rightfully so. Their 2014 album has everything needed for the making of indie darlings – you’ve got “Outright” with its undeniably bouncy and bright beat that gets into your bones, “When I Get Older” with its sweetly positive chorus, “Violet” with its delicate bells and “Walkin’” with its congenial whistling, and most importantly, above it all throughout, you’ve got Lincoln Kreifels’ signature, energetic, sing/speak/yell that keeps the “face-melting” pop songs flowing. Wild Party certainly live up to their name live – definitely worth a look.

Next up, Catfish and the Bottlemen. The Welsh foursome brought more hair to the show than I thought Schubas could fit onstage. The drummer and the bassist were rocking the kind of fros usually reserved for cartoon characters (and at one point lead singer Ryan “Van” McCann introduced the drummer as “Sideshow Bob”) – it was damn impressive to see, and very fitting for the sort of head banging rock the Catfish brought. The group is also, of course, worth seeing for their musical talent. Although McCann was having some trouble with his voice, the band still sounded pretty much spot on to their impressive 2015 album The Balcony. McCann apologized over and over to the audience for his hoarse voice, promising anyone in the audience who didn’t think they were getting their money’s worth a beer at the end of the show. Working their way through “Homesick,” “Kathleen,” “Cocoon,” and “26” the crowd was enthusiastically supportive, helping McCann through any sections where he was having trouble. The modest and appreciative McCann did ramble a bit onstage (the girl next to me, having trouble with his accent, told her friend that it wouldn’t matter if he were ‘giving us the cure to cancer’, she still wouldn’t be able to understand a word) but his interactions with the crowd were fun (at one point making fun of a girl who asked him to Facetime with her friend during the show) and we all got the point – he was just happy to be there, as was everyone in the crowd.

Posted on by Celeste in Concerts

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