When I first spoke to Bastille back in October of last year, their debut record Bad Blood wasn’t released, their single Flaws was still unknown, and the quartet had around 2, 000 Twitter followers. Now, they are over a huge 250, 000 followers and Bad Blood debuted atop the UK Albums Chart. Back in October, you should have seen our excitement to have Bastille’s interview on AMBY– let’s just say we were a little more than overjoyed.
Finding out the band were to play Toronto was great news, but the even better news was the fact that AMBY had the opportunity of meeting these indie-electronica geniuses a year after we first spoke. It was truly an honour as a fan and writer to sit down with Bastille’s Chris ‘Woody’ Wood and Kyle Simmons. Dig into our interview where we spoke about the craziest venues they’ve ever played, overwhelming success of Pompeii, and the best part of being Bastille.
Before leaving the interview, we had the chance of catching the entire band before they left. Bastille were incredibly humble, and as I introduced myself to Dan, he actually remembered AMBY and how we were one of his first interviews last year. It was an amazing moment for me in a way; seeing how far Bastille have come and how they still are so down-to-earth with their success was heart-warming.
That same day, Bastille were set to play Toronto’s The Phoenix. As the band walked onto the stage, Dan looked out into the crowd and said, “we’re called Bastille”. This immediately caught everyone’s attention and the band broke into their second single, Bad Blood, and the overwhelmingly infectious “woah oh oh”s filled the room.
To follow was Things We Lost In The Fire and Bastille’s first single Overjoyed. All of the band members gathered together at the front left of the stage to share some beautiful four-part harmonies with the fans. It was an intimate song, taking place in an intimate venue, accompanied by an intimate stage set-up. And it couldn’t have sounded more perfect.
The Silence and a surprise cover were to follow. Before beginning the song, Dan spoke out to the crowd, “how are you doing Toronto? This is our first ever gig in Canada”, and the audience shrieked with excitement. “This is for fans of the 2000 R&B era.”
Bastille then picked up the rhythm as they bursted into playing City High’s What Would You Do. Multiple times throughout the night all four members were singing together, and with the amount of energy they all had, it was impressive how not a note or chord was missed or imperfect. As for the visual performance, Dan was swaying around on stage with just as much attitude running through his dancing bones as the song conveyed.
Oblivion and Weight Of The Living II were to follow. Dan went to the side of the stage where bassist Will Farquarson was playing. There was a single drum and Dan began hitting the rim to the beat of Woody’s drum rolls. These two elements led to one of the strongest middle eights of the night. Dan, Kyle, and Will huddled in front of Woody’s drum kit jumping up and down to the rhythm.
These Streets, Laura Palmer, Haunt, Icarus, and (of course) their third single Flaws were to follow. Flaws was one of those Bastille songs that always stood out for its clever lyricism and unforgettable chorus. Well, that night, Bastille not only made the song unforgettable, yet also the performance. Dan walked right off the stage and onto the tables throughout the venue’s floor. He sang the entire song walking through the crowd and jumping through the audience. The thrill on fans’ faces as he walked by them singing was priceless.
The band came out for an encore after this, starting with Get Home. After the track, Dan looked to the crowd and said, “I’m a fucking awful dancer, but this next dance song involves some dancing.” Bastille started to play a cover of Corona’s The Rhythm of the Night. As the chorus kicked in, the entire floor bounced as hundreds of hands were thrown into the air. The final song of the evening was the pop-single Pompeii, which ended the night with an entire venue dancing and screaming lyrics together.
In the end, the entire set was paced superbly between R&B flares, upbeat pop singles, and those irresistible Bastille originals we all attended The Phoenix for that night.
For concert photos of Bastille, click here.
Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout