Catfish and the Bottlemen at the House of Blues

Catfish and the Bottlemen

Catfish and the Bottlemen played at the House of Blues San Diego to a sold out crowd. But first…

Did you know that Catfish and the Bottlemen were originally called, “The Prestige?” The band started in April 2007, when Van and Billy started playing guitar together. They started playing shows all over Wales, opening up for their friends bands, as well as other gigs. The band had an early demo played on BBC Radio 6 Music in March 2009. They ended up changing their name to Catfish and the Bottlemen, which comes from Van McCann’s first childhood musical memory. This memory was watching a street busker in Australia who went by the same name. They continued to play gigs, and in 2013, they signed to Communion Music, and managed to release three singles. The next year, they signed to Island Records. On this record label, they released their debut album “The Balcony.” One single, “Kathleen,” ranked at number one on MTV’s hottest tracks in April 2014. Since the release of their first album, they have been constantly touring, playing festivals and shows all over the world.

Van McCann at the House of Blues on March 19, 2019.

The last time I had seen Catfish and the Bottlemen was in 2017, in Toronto, Canada, at the Rebel. They were still on tour for their second album “The Ride,” which has been described as, “just blistering, swashbuckling tunes.” The venue was humongous, and with a sold out crowd of 2,500 people, it was an insane show. It had been the first time I had seen them live and the performance was astonishing. I have been to way too many concerts to count, and that Catfish and the Bottlemen concert is still one of my favorites.

Flash forward to Catfish and the Bottlemen at the House of Blues…

This time, seeing Catfish and the Bottlemen was a whole new experience. It again was a sold out show, but this time at the House of Blues San Diego. With a capacity of only 250 people, it was destined to be a much more intimate show. The Worn Flints opened up the show, playing for about thirty minutes. Catfish and the Bottlemen went on at 9, and I got to shoot the show from the photo pit for the first three songs, which were “Longshot,” “Kathleen,” and “Soundcheck.” While I was in the photo pit, every time I would turn around and look at the crowd, I could see pure joy on everyone’s face. After shooting the first three songs, I went into the crowd and joined my friends. The atmosphere at the show was just pure bliss. Everyone was having such a good time, screaming the lyrics right back at the band.

They played a total of 17 songs, ending with “Tyrants.” The crowd and I also got to hear their new single, “2all,” for the first time ever live, along with other songs from their upcoming album. If you have not had the chance to see Catfish and the Bottlemen live, you are missing out on an extraordinary experience that is like no other.

Catfish and the Bottlemen is releasing a new album called “The Balance,” on April 26th, which they already have three songs out from the new album: Longshot, 2all, and Fluctuate. They have not released anything since 2016, their album “The Ride,” so this album has been much waited for. You can preorder their new album here!

Written by : McCaeley O’Rourke
Pictures by: McCaeley O’Rourke

Ryan Beatty at the House of Blues San Diego

On Monday, March 18, Ryan Beatty performed an intimate yet memorable concert at the House of Blues that turned out to be something completely unexpected.

Many remember Beatty as this formulaic teen heartthrob with the Justin Bieber-esque side-swept hair who made multiple appearances on Radio Disney. Today, that person no longer exists. In his place is an open and authentic artist who has perfected an album that embodies his tumultuous journey in life and music.

Boy in Jeans experiments with synthetic sounds, jazzy basslines, and RnB expressions, a style similar to that of Frank Oceanand a total change to his former clean-cut radio releases. Due to the limited selection of songs, Ryan played through his album in order and respectively opened with “Haircut.” This track, a mellow tune that represents Ryan’s acceptance of his sexuality, sets an ambient and relaxed mood for the remainder of the show. Simply adorned in red shorts and a black crewneck, Ryan’s vibrant stage presence compensated for his casual appearance as he made the spotlight his own. The crowd was practically breaking through the barriers, soaking in every word he sang.

Songs such as “Cupid” and “Bruise” are simple compositions that are, nonetheless, stunning to witness live. “Cupid,” for one, highlighted Ryan’s soulful voice while accompanied by a delicate piano. His ability to belt out riffs with ease and create minuscule inflections during a live performance is a sign of vocal maturity and indisputable talent. “Bruise” is another fan favorite and tells the familiar story of a gay boy who is in a secret relationship with his “superstar,” in-the-closet man. As his audience screamed out the lyrics “Pony boy ride on, ride on, ride on me / In my dreams, in my f*cking dreams,” Ryan was having the time of his life, and repeatedly thanked his fans for their unconditional support.

The show continued with sanguine performances of “Camo” and “Money” driven by earwormy falsettos and headnod worthy beats. To match the quirky lyricism and funky instrumentation, Ryan was, according to him, “moving onstage like a crazy person” but that just made the experience even more enjoyable. “Powerslide,” however, was my favorite performance of the night because Ryan and the crowd were simply lost in the music; so lost, in fact, that he played it twice with unwavering energy.

Unfortunately, every show must come to an end, and the end was bittersweet. The audience was serenaded with the emotional tunes “Pink Floyd” and “Flash” that describe the struggle of discovering one’s identity and how hard it is to say goodbye.

Before the concert, I had no idea what to expect of Ryan Beatty. I had listened to the album and genuinely enjoyed his releases, but never would I expected to be blown away by this former teen-pop act. His past works with BROCKHAMPTON on their track “Bleach” as well as with Tyler, the Creator should have been an indication that this kid is all grown up. I look forward to his future projects and hope to see this grossly underrated artist gain more recognition as an up-and-coming star.

Written by: Rica Perez

Cautious Clay at House Of Blues

Cautious Clay pushes musical boundaries and captivates listeners at House of Blues San Diego‘s own Voodoo Room.

When I first discovered Cautious Clay, I was instantly drawn to the unique richness in his voice. Each song I listened to seemed to get better by the minute. Later, I learned that Cautious Clay was no ordinary alternative R&B artist. Josh Karpeh is the man behind it all. He’s a singer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist who coined the name “Cautious Clay” after Muhammad Ali, aka Cassius Clay. The all-in-one musician remains unsigned and continues to defy boundaries in the name of music. Karpeh attended George Washington University to study jazz saxophone and has continued to use his classically trained background as a tool to push boundaries. By keeping a “minimalist” mindset when writing his songs, Cautious gets to explore the line between keeping his music simple and clean, while making it powerful and touching.

While many listeners are drawn to his beautiful harmonies and catchy beats, the stories he tells through his lyrics is what I believe puts him above the rest. Following the release of his first EP, Blood TypeCautious was interviewed by Billboard Magazine, whom asked the musician what he hoped his listeners would gain from this EP. He responds, “I would like my listeners to be more intentional with their time and the people they hang out with. Make sure you’re surrounding yourself with people who are worth your time. I know that’s really heady and deep, but that’s what the lyrics are about.” Since then, Cautious Clay has appeared on tracks with notable artists like AlunaGeorge and Hudson Mohawke, and recently linked up with electronica star, Medasin, to produce his newest single “HONEST ENOUGH.”

After months of playing his songs on repeat, I felt it was only fitting to attend his concert in San Diego. The concert was hosted in the Voodoo Room at the House of Blues, and while the venue was smaller than I had anticipated, it made the experience even more intimate.

Opening with a fan favorite, “Elsewhere,” I could feel my heartrate increase with only the first few chords. Cautious expressed to Billboard magazine that this song was written about his struggles with student debt and the inability to escape tough situations, which is something that many listeners are able to relate to. I was originally drawn to this song because of the unique mixture of electronica and indie production combined with his soulful harmonies, but it is the honesty behind his lyrics that kept me hitting the repeat button.

While I was personally disappointed by the energy in the crowd, Cautious Clay maintained a steady stage presence that kept me on my toes. After pulling out a saxophone and flute for songs such as “Stolen Moments” and “Call Me,” I became only more captivated by his talent.

Following the performance of some of his most popular hits like “Blood Type” and “French Riviera,” Karpeh asked the audience to give a round of applause to his bandmates before they momentarily left the stage. As he pulls out his acoustic guitar, the crowd starts to settle down before Cautious performed an unreleased track off his upcoming EP. The song was slow, but far from boring. This ballad was deep and emotional, and will soon touch the hearts of listeners alike.

I am eager for the release of his upcoming EP, Table of Context, as well as his return to San Diego in the future. My hopes for his next tour is that the crowd is more respectful and attentive to his stage presence because my expectations unfortunately fell short this time around. While his performance was still honest and true, I believe that an audience within his age range would be more courteous to the passion he poured out on stage. All-in-all, there are many big things in store for Cautious Clay this year. Although he’s already killing it, I’d say that he is just getting started.

Review By: Brittany Roache
Photos by: Brittany Roache

Kodaline at the House of Blues

Kodaline gave their audience a taste of the weekend with their thrilling and riveting performance at the House of Blues.

 

The concert was opened by Ocean Park Standoff, a band consisting of Samantha Ronson, Pete Nappi, and Ethan Thompson. The group was energetic throughout their entire set, especially Thompson, who couldn’t help but jump around the stage. It was hard not sing along, especially as the singer about to dive right into the audience. Plus, the band members chemistry was impeccable, as the three cracked jokes throughout their set. They got right along, offering words of advice before continuing onto their next song, “Good News:” “If you had any bad news this week, fuck ‘em.” With their youthful spirit, Ocean Park Standoff encouraged us to let go and enjoy. It just made everyone excited for the rest of the night.

Kodaline’s entrance was silent, but their entrance caused the crowd to go wild. They started with “Follow Your Fire”, a song from their newest album “Politics of Living”.  Known originally as 21 Demands, the group started in Dublin, Ireland with Steve Carrigan (vocals, guitar) and Mark Prendergast (guitar) as founding members of the group. The name later changed to Kodaline with the addition of Jason Boland (bass guitar) and Vinny May Jr. (drums).

 

With the moody lights and simple stage set, Kodaline focused on what was important: their music. Seemingly in his own world, main singer Steve Garrigan had his eyes closed for a majority of the songs. Though it was a contrast from Ocean Park Standoff’s interactive stage presence, Kodaline’s style of performance was just as captivating.

Listening to their music in such an environment made their vocals sound even more raw. I had always loved their music, listening on my phone or through Youtube, but to hear it in person, was an experience. Being apart of the audience felt like a dream, with everyone swaying in a trance to a deep pulse. If I had another chance to go listen and see Kodaline, I would not need a lot of convincing. Not only is their music amazing, their performance and stage presence must be seen in person. Kodaline has come a long way since their humble beginnings as a two-man band, and their fans and other music enthusiasts should look forward to their future projects indefinitely.

Review by: Veronica Yoo