Words by: Tyson Clarke
Photography by: Joshua Habtwold
Monday June 17th 2019 will forever be remembered as We The North Day, as the entire city of Toronto celebrated the championship win of our Toronto Raptors. Though the parade concluded early in the afternoon, the party continued through the night when Welsh Indie Rockers, Catfish and the Bottlemen brought their 2019 North American Tour to Toronto’s Rebel.
Kicking off the show was Columbus Rock Trio, The Worn Flints. Though being a fairly new band, within seconds of their opening song they had the crowd hooked. Giving a nostalgic 60’s rock vibe, with the grit and energy needed to entertain today. Most people in the audience hadn’t heard of this band previously, but after their 30 minute set they definitely gained the attention of everyone. If you haven’t heard of this band yet, you will soon.
After The Worn Flint’s set wrapped up, excitement grew while more people filled into the completely sold out Rebel Nightclub. The house lights went dark as The Beatles’ “Helter Skelter” blared through the speakers, while Catfish and the Bottlemen took the stage.
The band kicked off their set with “Longshot” off of their new record The Balance. Greeted by a thunderous applause they flew into fan favourites “Kathleen” from The Balcony, and “Soundcheck” from The Ride. The stage banter took a backseat at this show, Catfish and the Bottlemen used their 90 minute set to focus on playing as many songs as they could. Their setlist consisted of 17 songs, spanning through all three of their records.
Their stage was very bare and simple. There were no fancy screens, just a backdrop of the cover of their latest album. The show didn’t need anything flashy, all it needed was for frontman, Van McCann, to control the stage in a way that only he can. Backed with some of the tightest guitar riffs and drumming in rock music today, and that’s exactly what this band gave to us.
McCann and the boys had the crowd in the palm of their hands the entire set. There was not a single sole in the building standing still, and the place was deafening, especially during fan favourites: “Twice”, “Fallout” and “Sidetrack”. The band wrapped up the first part of their set with “2all” and “Outside”.
Still riding the high of Thursday’s win, and the day’s festivities, the crowd started a “Let’s Go Raptors” chant before Catfish and the Bottlemen returned to the stage. Kicking the encore off with “Fluctuate” and the jumping into “7”, and “Cocoon”. McCann hopped on the mic for the first time in the night to say “Toronto, thank you for selling this place out for us tonight. We’re a long way from home. We’re a band called Catfish and the Bottlemen from the UK. Have a great night” before concluding the night with “Tyrants”.
This night was a celebration of so many things. The energy in that building was indescribable. Catfish and the Bottlemen only found mainstream success 5-6 years ago, they’re 3 albums deep, and there seems to be nothing stopping them from continuing to concur the world.
Catfish and the Bottlemen Setlist: