PHOTOS: Catfish and the Bottlemen’s hyperactivity infectious at the Fox Theater

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Catfish and the Bottlemen, Van McCann

Catfish and the Bottlemen perform at the Fox Theater in Oakland on March 23, 2019. Photos: Joaquin Cabello.

OAKLAND — Led by frontman Van McCann’s moves and inexhaustible hyperactivity, Catfish and the Bottlemen performed with stunning stage presence at their Fox Theater show Saturday.

Catfish and the Bottlemen, Van McCann

Catfish and the Bottlemen perform at the Fox Theater in Oakland on March 23, 2019.

After an intro that consisted of an a cappella rendition of The Beatles’ “Helter Skelter,” the English quartet opened with “Longshot,” from next month’s album The Balance. The new cut was followed by “Kathleen,” from debut album The Balcony, and “Soundcheck,” 2016’s The Ride.

On “Pacifier,” guitarist Johnny Bond launched into a particularly catchy riff. His technique was full of swagger. Meanwhile, the lovesick  “Business” featured an emotional performance by McCann. Catfish and The Bottlemen’s set continued with many of their album singles, such as “Homesick” and “Rango,” with the band throwing in new cuts like “Sidetrack.”

Catfish and the Bottlemen, Van McCann

Catfish and the Bottlemen perform at the Fox Theater in Oakland on March 23, 2019.

McCann’s unparalleled energy was infectious. “2all,” from The Balance, began with only the frontman and a slightly overdriven guitar before rising and falling into verses and choruses. It was the  same formula used on “Outside,” from The Ride, which was followed by McCann’s calm solo performance on “Hourglass.” Benji Blakeway’s deep bass and Bob Hall’s toms drum fills of “Fluctuate” then changed up that pattern.

The last stretch of the set featured a crescendo of Catfish and the Bottlemen’s most popular songs: “7,” “Cocoon” and “Tyrants.”

Ohio’s The Worn Flints performed an opening set full of strobe lights and distorted guitars. Midway through, the trio became overly noisy and chaotic, but their instrumental capacities remained on point even as headbanging ensued throughout the floor.

On songs like “If I Stay(Awake),” “Burn” and “Colorful Waste of Time,” The Worn Flints were buzzing with fuzzy guitars, distorted bass lines, and hard-hitting drum fills. The energetic performance ended with all the members lying on the floor while playing their instruments.

 

Follow photographer Joaquin Cabello at Instagram.com/joaquinxcabello

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