Saturday 16 March 2013

Bastille // Live Review, Leeds Uni- Stylus, Sunday 10th March

From the opening murmuring dark undertones of “Bad Blood” to the final rapturous applause, tonight is electrically charged. This evening wasn’t about judging if Bastille were a good live band or not (we already know they are) it was more a matter of just how good they were going to be. 

And, more than that, after their album "Bad Blood" was just announced as clinching the number 1 spot, tonight was about taking a chance to celebrate their success and, for one night only, everyone in the room being able to ride that wave along with them. 

Want to read our full live review, see all the photos and find out how you can check out our interview with the band? Click below...

Bastille celebrate their number one album in style playing to a sold out Leeds Uni

It is soon clear that everyone here tonight, as Dan quite rightly earlier presumed, is a longstanding Bastille fan, firmly knowing every single word to the entire setlist. The show satisfies everyone and takes us on a journey of Bastille’s musical back catalogue, from beginning to present. Hit singles, such as the captivating “Overjoyed”, are showcased alongside more upbeat album tracks, including “Weight of Living, Pt.II”.

Modest and appreciating, Dan is the perfect front-man. Unable to stay still, he can’t help but constantly jump to each song, and neither can the crowd. He has them in the palm of his hand. Now a strong four-piece and dynamic as ever, the quartet flit between a variety of instruments and a plethora of intricate vocal arrangements. With each atmospheric note you know that when you attend a Bastille show you are in for a treat for the ears and senses. The strong percussive elements soar on songs such as “Laura Palmer” and the effortless whistlings of “Poet”, taken from the “Pompeii” EP. The stage may be the biggest they have headlined, but the venue doesn’t feel gargantuan in size with fans lost amongst the masses. Tonight there is a perfect feeling of intimacy; Bastille’s logo, a neon triangle backdrop with bare bulbs hanging down and dotted around, emits a warm yellow glow.

Bastille front-man Dan Smith

Bastille storm Leeds Uni

The vocals and musicianship is without fault and there’s an incredible energy thriving on stage, with the band even throwing in a couple of their infamous covers alongside Bastille originals. City High’s classic hip-hop track, “What Would You Do?”, is reinvented and whether the audience knew of the original or not it doesn’t matter; they are as vibrant as ever. 

To whet fans appetite and rewarding them for holding out for the album, Bastille released not one, but two free mix-tapes over the past months. Teasing the crowd with the opening notes of hit single “Flaws”, they blend seamlessly into instant mix-tape hit, “Rhythm Of The Night” (a Snap and Corona mash-up). 

The smooth and distinctive tones of Dan Smith glide through songs such as the effortlessly echoic and simply stunning “Oblivion”. The endearing front man, who seems to shy away from the limelight, gets lost in songs but rather than isolating the audience he pulls them in.

Bastille's Kyle Simmons
The anthemic single, “Pompeii” closes the night; however, Bastille can’t leave for their shows at SXSW in Texas before an extended send off from the fervent Leeds crowd. An uproar of excitement surges across the room when the band re-take to the stage to finish the evening in style. The unmistakable opening to “Flaws” inspires the crowd to move for one last time and Dan, always keen to explore the venue wanders out amongst his adoring crowd.  Like children following the Pied Piper they dance and move along behind him before he takes back to the stage to thank the crowd once again. 

Dan Smith on stage in Leeds
The fact that Bastille’s debut album reached number one this evening here in Leeds, where Dan and Kyle once attended University, is a cyclical journey for the band and marks the next step in the band’s prosperous career.  “We’re in a complete state of denial that the album went to number one”, laughs Dan, quite overwhelmed by the recent chart news. However, between the enchanting album and an incredible live show it is not hard to see why the quartet are doing so well; the show may be over for now, but we’re already excited for the next time we see them.

The tour is completely sold out, but if you were lucky enough to have bagged a ticket for the forthcoming dates you’re in for a treat. And if not, well Bastille will be around for a long time to come.

Stay tuned as we catch up with Bastille's Dan Smith & Kyle Simmons, a year on from the last time we saw them, to chat about their reaction to hitting number 1, playing a sold out tour, oh and how they can top their Pizza Hut Celebration... CLICK HERE TO READ