Catbite | photo by Megan Matuzak for WXPN
Catbite spreads two-tone love at NON-COMM
The Philly ska-punk faves kicked off night two with maximum energy.
- Asinine Aesthetic
- Not Ur Baby
- Call Your Bluff
- Bad Influence
- Excuse Me Miss
Catbite rocked out on World Cafe Live’s lounge stage tonight, inaugurating NON-COMM’s second evening of events and spreading two-tone love to their native scratching post of Philadelphia. Their opening song, “Asinine Aesthetic”, was a fast-paced, ska-punk jam that washed over the audience like a perfect wave on a sunny, beach vacation day. In fact, the five-piece litter, fronted by lead singer Brittany Luna, feels more accustomed to the warm breezes of California and the sands of Jamaica than the bitter cold of Center City. This surprise was welcomed; however, as the crowd gladly accepted the invitation of catchy summer tunes, nodding and dancing as the band went feral on stage. The band quickly ran through “Not Ur Baby,” keeping the party rock steady before smoothly transitioning into “Call Your Bluff,” a clear crowd favorite evidenced by the sea of swaying hips and clapping hands.
Each of the six songs Catbite performed are from Nice One, their latest LP released in August of 2021. The record, and Catbite’s overall sound, pays homage to the origins of two-tone. Mixing both ska and punk, which in and of itself draws influence from reggae and rocksteady genres, they carry on the tradition of legends such as The Specials and The Selectors with each muted guitar chord and one-drop beat. However, Catbite is greater than the sum of its parts. Between catchy and contagious pop hooks and a monstrous energy and stage charisma, the band welcomes and actively encourages the crowd to join in on the fun. At one point in the performance, Brittany told the crowd to scream wildly, resulting in a cacophony of noise that beautifully merged the band and audience into one.
Catbite is like a caricature artist on the boardwalk, silly and fun, yet undeniably memorable, and unabashedly unique. Friendly and inviting, listeners can’t help but see what all the commotion is about, and once they start, it’s impossible to stop. To get more of the group’s strain of catnip for the ears, catch their performances at Sing Us Home Festival on May 5th and at Underground Arts on July 2nd; details on both can be found at WXPN’s Concerts and Events page.