There’s no stopping a Catbite set once it begins; the Philly five-piece band and toasts of the ska revival dive into their first song and roll right into the next, and the next, and the next, keeping the energy onstage and in the room as high as possible.
That was how today’s Free at Noon concert with Catbite played out; it was their first hometown show of the year, the World Cafe Live house was packed, and for those who needed one, it was a perfect introduction to the WXPN Artist to Watch for the month of July (a title that XPN host Dan Reed announced they’d earned just before they took the stage).
The set was a high-octane ride through the band’s celebrated 2021 album Nice One — from the opener “Asinine Aesthetic” to the radio hits “Call Your Bluff” and “Excuse Me, Miss” — as well as their self-titled 2019 debut — the source of “Amphetamine Delight” and the crowd-participatory “Scratch Me Up,” where frontperson Brittany Luna got the audience to raise their hands in claw formation and swipe to the beat. There were also terrific covers, like No Doubt’s “Sunday Morning” (XPN Morning Show host Kristen Kurtis could be spotted out on the floor skanking up a storm to this one) and Dawn Penn’s “You Don’t Love Me,” where Luna introduced bandmates Tim Hildebrand on guitar and vocals, Kenny Malloy on keys, Ben Parry on bass and Chris Pires on drums.
Listen back to the performance below, and check out a gallery of photos, the full setlist, and videos from the show. Catbite has tour dates this summer at Asbury Park’s House of Independents and in Bethlehem for Musikfest, and is back in the Philly area to play the XPoNential Music Festival the weekend of September 16th; tickets for that show are available at XPNFest.org.