The feeling of anticipation filled the YouTube Theater on Friday night and it was electric as thousands of fans gathered waiting for Bastille to take the stage. For me, Bastille was a band that I had first introduced to with the explosion of their song Pompeii in 2013. I was 12 years old. I was in love, with their anthemic sound, rich vocals, and depth of the lyrics, all of these elements together made for a song that was probably in some of my first-ever Spotify playlists. If you had told me then I would be able to work a show where Bastille headlined, well I don’t think I would know what to tell you. This feeling of nostalgia was what made this show so special to attend.
Alice Merton kicked off the night. The punchy bassline really got everyone up and moving and her vocals are just incredible. I was shocked to learn that due to some visa complications only half her band was present, despite this they didn’t miss a beat. Her neon outfit really lit up the stage and her energy was infectious getting both new and old fans alike into her groove. It was truly captivating. Merton is not just a musician but also runs her own record label which she told her fans in the story of her song Lash Out. The “No Roots” singer’s voice pulled everyone into the space and set the tone for Bastille.
I would consider Bastille to be in the era of music that shaped my taste and created so many powerful anthemic songs. The way this band has only continued to create hit after hit but maintains this somewhat critical tone and reflection in their music is so powerful for pop music.
Bastille took the stage and the energy just reverberated around the room. You were not just there for the music, it was a full visual experience. Building off the Future Inc concept introduced with their newest and fourth album “Give Me The Future”, the story of the showcase seemed to reflect their FutureScape Dream Analyser concept. The show was an interaction with a reality or dream analyzer that took you to these different aspects of the experience.
Laced with references to sci-fi films and literature, video games and VR, Bastille’s new album Give Me The Future explores a futuristic wonderland free from restrictions—each song a different danceable dreamscape, a place where you can travel back and forward in time to be anyone, do anything, and embrace a new wave of technology, which enables us to get lost inside our imagination.
When you are there you are fully in that world. The way the visuals seamlessly tied into the story and energy of each song was just captivating. Despite the band dancing and high energy, the depth of the songs and lyrics were not lost, only amplified in moments of pause. It felt that the chaise lounge was a signifier of major energetic changes and layers of reality, beautifully incorporated.
While the album addressed a rather depressing dystopian future and present that show really placed this emphasis on being present. The songs themselves sonically carry a note of hope despite the lyrical content. The execution and performance took their meaning to a new level.
Catch them on tour near you:
May 23, 2022 Portland, OR Keller Auditorium
May 24, 2022 Seattle, WA Paramount Theatre
May 25, 2022 Bonner, MT KettleHouse Amphitheater
May 28, 2022 St. Paul, MN Palace Theatre
May 29, 2022 Kansas City, MO Uptown Theater
May 31, 2022 St. Louis, MO The Factory at The District
June 1, 2022 Madison, WI The Sylvee
June 3, 2022 Toronto, ON History
June 5, 2022 Washington, DC The Anthem
June 7, 2022 New York, NY Terminal 5
June 8, 2022 Boston, MA Roadrunner
June 10, 2022 Detroit, MI Masonic Temple Theatre
June 11, 2022 Pittsburgh, PA Roxian Theatre
June 12, 2022 Indianapolis, IN WonderRoad Festival
June 14, 2022 New Haven, CT College Street Music Hall
June 15, 2022 Philadelphia, PA The Met
June 17, 2022 Columbus, OH KEMBA Live! Outdoor
The four-piece has been experimenting and augmenting the Bastille sound since the release of their last album Doom Days in 2019, the conclusion of an unofficial trilogy. Last year, they released the Goosebumps EP, featuring Graham Coxon on “WHAT YOU GONNA DO???” and producer Kenny Beats on the title track, as they continued to pen songs that seek to understand and offer escape from the modern human condition. Doom Days received huge critical acclaim and charted in the Top 5 in both the U.K. and U.S., the only U.K. band to have achieved this chart landmark alongside The Beatles and Queen in 2019. The record found the band at their most lyrically provocative, most accomplished, and most vital and charts the course of one night in search of distraction from the surrounding apocalypse (sound familiar?). During the course of 2019, the four-piece continued to cement their reputation as one of the world’s most captivating live bands, having played an extensive two month-long sold-out U.S. and U.K. tour. At the beginning of 2020, Bastille received their sixth Brit nomination and their second nomination for British Group. In January 2021, Bastille was the subject of ReOrchestrated, a documentary film that provided a revelatory and bracingly honest new look into the band’s journey so far, framed through their ReOrchestrated shows and diving into themes of motivation, anxiety, and imposter syndrome. With over 11 million records sold, 6 U.K. Top 40 singles, and 1.5 billion video views, Bastille continues to be one of the world’s most streamed bands.
Review by Hannah Schneider