Review by Clare Knight
Last night was the night that I finally got to see Bastille perform live – it’s been a while coming and I’m glad that it was in a relatively intimate venue like the Concorde 2 in Brighton. Earlier in the day I spent some time with Dan and Will in their bright yellow tour bus talking about a number of things from the height of Dan’s hair to the new tattoo Will got when he was drunk (interview to come soon so follow me on Facebook, Twitter etc to find out when it is up). The Concorde 2 seemed like a small venue for such a popular band but it was rammed full of people, which I would guesstimate was three quarters hardcore fans and the other quarter probably people who were brought along by hardcore fans! It isn’t surprising that Bastille’s tour dates are often sold out and it is without a doubt the fans that add to the electric atmosphere at the gigs.
Last night’s gig was no exception; as Dan sang the lyrics they were echoed around the room by the audience reaching us near the back with force. This is the first gig that I have been to in a long time where a huge number of fans were walking in to the venue prior to the gig wearing merchandise, but then not every band has been battling it out with Justin Timberlake for the number one spot!
Bastille came on stage after a very quick change-over following the support act, To Kill A King to rapturous applause and high decibel screaming. Without any delay they launched into their first song and that is when you saw the very relaxed and understated band members come to life. The four piece are incredibly energetic and keep the performance engaging by standing on drum risers and monitors, jumping into the crowd and generally being a bit of a rock band. They are a very slick sounding band that sounds incredibly close to the record when performing live, but what you do not get when listening to the album you definitely get when you go to a gig.
Those who were new to Bastille’s music were won over by a couple of covers that they performed. It was definitely the case for the gentleman behind me who was singing The Rhythm Of The Night by Corona at the top of his lungs and when I turned around laughing he exclaimed, ‘Well it’s the only one I know!’. After that he was joining in with the group vocals in Pompeii as if he was actually in The Lion King! Their cover of What Would You Do by City High was also really popular, however I thought that I knew the lyrics to it but realised that I really don’t. (But then nor did the guy behind me so I didn’t feel too bad about it.)
Hearing the album performed live was something I am glad I got to see but it was nothing compared to the last song of the set. Naturally, their biggest single Pompeii was the grand finale. On to stage came Bastille’s own little choir in the form of To Kill A King to sing the now famous chanting part of the song. Let’s face it, who doesn’t enjoy a bit of Lion King chanting? The best part was the acapella chanting with the audience at the very end, which was not a bad way to finish a set! Once again the crowd was chanting but this time they wanted an encore. So back to the stage the boys came and performed an energetic couple of songs including the hugely popular Flaws, I think this was about the time that Dan was submerged into the audience, yet managed to continue singing like it was nothing out of the ordinary.
Bastille are a fantastic live band with endless amounts of energy, great musicianship and are all round lovely lads. I would recommend seeing them live; I’ll be going again! Keep your eyes open for the interview with Bastille coming soon.