Bastille, a four head strong British band from London, brought their technicolor show meets indie pop performance to the Sporthalle on 17 November. I only knew a couple of their songs but the ones I had heard I liked, so when a friend got tickets, I decided I might as well join her and figure out afterwards whether in my coffee-addled state of mind I had spent 40 bucks for naught. Turns out, coffee truly does help me make good decisions. I loved the performance and turned into a triangle fan (the band’s signature symbol) myself that night.
Opener Rationale brought an unexpected dose of jazz/electro/pop into the mixt and so the crowd was already practicing some of their best dance moves before Bastille even showed up.
The contrast could not have been any starker than with these two bands but it introduced the audience to something completely different and only fueled the excitement for the actual lead act. Rationale’s music was a surprisingly entertaining combination of lead singer Tinashe Fazakerly’s diamond clear voice and the funky sounds from the other instruments on stage.
What first struck me about the performance was the band’s background montage, showing snippets of 70s movies or landscape shots (proving drones really are the trend right now). Generally, the background was sometimes more action-laden than I was used to. Nevertheless, the action on and off stage was fairly balanced. Lead singer Dan Smith walked through the crowd for one song, sending the audience into a frenzy, and lots of vines, Instagram memories or snapchats were taken, I assume. Admittedly, the concert was still relying heavily on aesthetics, even the accompanying video for the people in the far back had a HD quality you usually only get on the live DVD.
Bastille played various songs off their new record Wild World, most of which I did not hear before but the band clearly continued their strategy of pairing upbeat music and (more or less) depressing lyrics.
“Good Grief” (Wild World) starts off like a good ol’ Bruno Mars song and ends up as a I Miss You-declaration paired with 70s sound clips.
“Send Them Off” (Wild World) follows this latter trend of including sound snippets and calls for people to believe in themselves, to stop doubting themselves and to stop envying others. We crave the things we can’t have or the people that we can’t be but instead we should “exorcise our minds” from false truths and take our place in the world.
“Pompeii” ((All this) Bad Blood) is probably one of the band’s most known songs and it was certainly one of the songs the most people (including myself) danced to. The song captures optimism at the epitome of chaos (the destruction of Pompeii) and proves to be quite uplifting, for example in light of the recent events over in ‘Murica.
“Things We Lost In The Fire” ((All this) Bad Blood) works as a sort of sequel (Pompeii having been consumed by fire, in the broader sense) and it breaks down what happens after the fire, what happens when chaos hits us, what happens when it’s over.
One of the crowd’s favourites must have been “Of the Night” ((All this) Bad Blood), Bastille’s cover of the Corona classic. Lead singer Dan Smith once again used the small stage in the back of the venue to get closer to the fans and encouraged us all to move and jump up and down – a phase which lasted longer than expected and felt like a high intensity workout.
I left the venue pretty high on music and felt my ears ringing for long after. A cup of coffee would have definitely helped after all that excitement – maybe to find another fantastic band to see play live.
I could go on about Bastille’s performance but I would rather you check out their spotify or YouTube channel and check them out yourselves. You won’t regret it.
Maria was listening to Bastille’s “The Draw” while writing this review.