It might be cold out but December got off to a hot start in St. Paul last night thanks to Catfish and The Bottlemen. St. Paul was just one of many stops on their North American tour, but they rocked The Myth like it was their last show they’ll ever play.
Columbus, Ohio based trio, The Worn Flints took to the stage promptly at 8:00 pm (gotta love all ages shows), to get the crowd warmed up for Catfish and The Bottlemen. But from their energy, charisma and stage presence it seemed like someone forgot to tell they were the opener. The Worn Flints played through their roughly 40-minute like seasoned pros. For a fairly unknown band (boasting just over 2,000 likes on Facebook and a few thousand Spotify streams), these guys really got the crowd going. That could be partly thanks to the largely females, age 18 and under crowd, and something never gets old about a good looking dude with long hair and a guitar. Or it could be the fact that these guys slayed like something straight out of another era. The Worn Flints entire vibe was 70s rock mixed with Jack White mixed with the Beastie Boys. Frontman Kenny Stiegele stole the show – strutting around stage as if he took notes from the greats of rock and roll history. His vocals were something to be reckoned with, and he shredded through his guitar solos with a bad-assery of someone beyond his years. “WE ARE THE WORN FLINTS. THAT’S W-O-R-N FLINTS. AND DON’T FORGET IT,” Stiegele shouted a few songs into their set. This again was welcomed by screams from the crowd, who seemed to be eating up their every move, and rightfully so. “We’re just gonna keep grooving up here. Grooving and boogying,” Stiegle remarked as they headed into the last half of the set. And grooving and boogying is just what they did.Headliners Catfish and The Bottlemen took the stage right at 9:00 and played a roughly hour long set, and it’s everything you could have wanted and more from this set. They played the perfect mix of new and old songs, and the crowd was singing along to every one. Catfish and Bottlemen superfans were definitely out to represent last night.
I’ve been following Catfish and The Bottlemen since I first heard their infection single “Cacoon” a few years ago (which actually was one of the song they closed their set with). These guys seem to just keep better with every passing year. Their entire set at The Myth last night was perfectly polished, sounding just as good, if not better than their studio albums. This band is fairly young in terms of ages, all roughly under 25, but they commanded the stage as if they’ve been doing this for decades. There is sometimes a line in live performance between polished and contrived, but nothing about last night’s performance felt contrived. The performance was genuine and just a feel good set, exactly what you want on cold Thursday night. This are four guys who’ve perfected their craft and are now reaping the rewards, including a fairly packed Myth of fans singing along to every word. Frontman Ryan Evan “Van” McCann was absolutely captivating, to the point you almost didn’t want to take your eyes off him. And no – not just because he’s a total dreamboat, but because he’s incredibly talented. It was fun to watch someone so young play with such poise and confidence. He kept the dialogue to a minimum from stage, but they didn’t need it. Their live performance spoke enough to who Catfish and the Bottlemen are.
The fans last night were loving it (myself included). Eating up every song, jumping and dancing around and just having a good time. A definite highlight of the set is when the band gave McCann the stage for a stripped down acoustic “Hourglass.” It was just McCann, an acoustic guitar and the fans. This quiet stripped back song really showcased the depth and breadth of McCann’s talent.
The band joined McCann back on stage to close out the set with 7 (off their new album) and Cacoon (off their debut album), both of these songs are certified bangers. They have the feel of stadium anthems. Which if last night’s performance was any foreshadowing, stadiums are definitely in the future for Catfish and the Bottlemen.