British rock band lights up the night


Adriana Serrano, Reporter

The popular Indie-rock band Catfish and the Bottlemen took to stage at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago on Oct.5, making this one of the many U.S. stops in their self-titled tour for their third studio album “ Balance” released in April.

At about exactly 9 p.m. the band wasted no time, kicking off their set with the lead song “Longshot” off of their album. Surprised by the outburst of energy, lead singer Van McCann jumped around the stage riffing his guitar, while shaking his head full of hair to the beat of the music. The excited energy was inevitable throughout the crowd as they jumped around with McCann, throwing their arms around in the air and singing along.

 Followed by a crowd favorite “Kathleen,” the four-pieced band continued to play many of their biggest hits including “Soundcheck,” “2all,” “Twice,” and their latest single “Conversation” released this past April.

 The use of lights throughout the performance truly accentuated the viewing experience and personally was the highlight of the show. Lighting up the stage in the background was a large motif of a toucan drinking a can of beer through a straw lit up in neon lights representing the cover of their album. The motif and the lights surrounding the stage would flash in an array of colors, synchronized with the music.

The only negative aspect of the 75-minute long, intense show was the excessive, lengthy instrumentals that would go on in the middle of songs. Though very entertaining at first, after numerous minutes the intervals became repetitive and caused me to become disengaged with the music.

However, despite that it was very evident throughout the show that Catfish and the Bottlemen were having just as much of a good time performing as the fans did listening. I greatly applaud the band for laying out an exhilarating and fun experience that would leave me listening to the album on repeat for the next few days.

Before the show had started, when I entered the spacious venue, I was immediately encapsulated by the architectural design of the theater, much representing a Spanish village. Looking up the ceiling had a gorgeous celestial design with hand painted clouds moving across the stars. With the crowd overwhelmingly populated with 20 to 30 year olds it did create for an awkward feeling being one of the youngest there, but nevertheless did not diminish the mood.

The show opened with The July talks roughly around 8 p.m. The lights began to dim as fog slowly started to surround the stage. With the sound of the first few chords from the electric guitar emanating through the speakers, strobe lights flashed throughout the ballroom revealing the rock band. Dressed in a pearly white pantsuit with angel wings attached to her sides, Leah Fay and other lead singer Peter Dreimanis, full of intense energy, danced around the stage during their quick 30-minute set, with Fay even coming up to the fans and singing with them as she handed her angel wings to a member of the crowd. Both the Canadian rock band, though was a stray from Catfish’s indie rock vibe, truly did know how to put on an eye-catching show.