Review – Bastille illustrate the power of humanity through their latest awe-inspiring tour
When I first got word of Bastille’s ‘intimate’ EU tour, I was somewhat surprised. After collaborations with EDM superstars Marshmello, Craig David & Seeb alongside a mixtape that infused their style of rock with hints of electronica, I thought of myself dancing to these tunes in a stadium surrounded by a flurry of lights. However, as Dan and his merry band took the stage, that thought quickly became reality.
From the first vocal to the final snare hit, there was a great sense of humility, and this wasn’t just from Bastille either. Shortly before opening act Ulysses Wells finished an eclectically energetic set, he thanked the crowd before inviting them for a chat at the merch stand; a small gesture that to his fans would mean the world. While Lewis Capaldi swapped that energy for a more sombre set, he retained the humility; joking with fans about the possibility of running off stage to attend to an upset stomach.
As Bastille took stage, my assumptions about the gig were put to rest. For the gig didn’t start with a strong guitar riff or a spiky synth lead, but a solo vocoder performance from lead vocalist Dan as a spotlight shone on the keys, a moment that sounded more Bon Iver than Bon Jovi, but sent fans wild nonetheless. Then once all eyes were on Dan, the gig’s impressive visuals kicked in. Minimalist projections on a silk screen in front of the band showed a glitching digital clock ticking to midnight. A nod to the next song on the setlist ‘Quarter Past Midnight’, one that sparked that distinct, rockstar energy only the best concerts fill you with.
As the setlist continued and the spark shone on, I was impressed by the range that Bastille creatively offered to their fans. As you see visuals go from iridescent war jets to floating pink petals and see Dan go from bouncing around the stage to sombrely singing on a rotating sofa, you ask yourself if there’s any other band that could do all this in the space of just a few songs.
As the band prepared to play their last song, that wholesome humility returned. Dan thanked both supporting acts who had been on stage with him earlier to add new definition to the band’s songs, with Ulysses Wells’ guitar solo on one track and Lewis Capaldi’s mesmerising vocals on another. By the end of the concert, the experience felt as if it had come full circle – that glitching clock visual returned with a much later time and Dan delivered another warm vocoder performance with a more culminative feeling. A feeling that realised the concert as not something to be heard or seen, but experienced.
Written by Niall Evans. All images courtesy of Chuff Media.