Photos: Catfish & the Bottlemen at the Fonda Theatre

Catfish & The Bottlemen at the Fonda Theatre (Photo by Michelle Shiers)
Catfish & The Bottlemen at the Fonda Theatre (Photo by Michelle Shiers)

Welsh retro-rockers Catfish & The Bottlemen, currently hailed as the next Arctic Monkeys, filled the Fonda Theater on Tuesday night with fervent fans who were excited to chant along to every word of front man Ryan “Vann” McCann’s youthful English observations.

The curtain came up prematurely and fans lovingly hollered at Larry, the band’s famous roadie. Catfish & The Bottlemen emerged just after the Beatle’s “Helter Skelter” (vocals only) blasted over the speakers and they opened with “Rango” from their 2014 debut album, “The Balcony.” Their set was comprised of the entire album and each time they began a new song, fans threw up their cellphones desperate for a snippet. The Bottlemen performed their riffy garage rock full of infectious attitude and McCann’s Casablancan growl.

While the quartet was were mainly cloaked in vibe-y red and blue lights, a single spotlight occasionally lit McCann as he performed acoustic ballads “Homesick” and “Hourglasss,” both of which turned into hefty sing-alongs. A few fans made it up on shoulders and McCann instructed security to leave them there. McCann’s ability to relate to his audience with notions of pent-up frustrations coupled with the fresh-faced energy he expels on his guitar makes for quite a show. They closed the set with “Cocoon” and “Tyrants” and went out with a bombastic bang leaving no need for encore.

Catfish & The Bottlemen were preceded by British blues-folk artist Jamie N Commons, who started off his set solo and then brought four other musicians in tow to complete his set – sometimes rocking sometimes somber. He also included a cover of Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” which truly lent itself to Commons’ raspy baritone vocals.

Photos by Michelle Shiers