On a Wednesday night, the line outside of Variety Playhouse consumes most of Euclid Avenue’s sidewalk. Teenagers and parents throwing a good night’s sleep aside wait for their chance to see Catfish and the Bottlemen play a sold out show in Atlanta for the first time since their 2015 Music Midtown set.
Some fans, like Hannah Carpenter, spent countless hours in line just to get a front row spot. As a student at the University of South Carolina, Carpenter made the three-hour drive from Columbia to line up at 10 AM with the hopes of securing a front row spot.
“I was supposed to go to a chemistry lab that I couldn’t skip,” she said, “but getting front row for [Catfish and the Bottlemen] is worth it.”
When frontman, Van McCann, strolled across the stage, it was clear that Carpenter spoke for the entire audience. As the opening notes of “Homesick” filtered through the speakers, the crowd erupted into a symphony of shrieks, marking the beginning of a show filled with tears and bra throwing.
Catfish and the Bottlemen performed a stellar set, comprised of tracks from their 2014 debut, “The Balcony” and their sophomore album, “The Ride.” Throughout, the band stayed true to the complex guitar melodies they’ve become known for and gave the fans exactly what they came for: a good time.
Although the band has been playing sold-out shows all over the country for the last few weeks, McCann seemed genuinely humbled by the turnout of the show, constantly mumbling “thank you” and interacting with the crowd.
The most special moment of it all came during “Hourglass.” McCann initially planned to play a stripped down version of the song with just an acoustic guitar, but he had to settle for an a cappella rendition due to technical difficulties. The fans didn’t miss a beat, and they screamed every word at the top of their lungs.
Long-time fan Kevin Smith was among them.
“It was a great show,” he said. “The band had a consistently energetic stage presence and I hope to be able to see them again.”
As the set drew to a close, the energy remained very much alive, and will stay in the hearts of their fans long after the final notes of “Tyrants” faded.
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