BASTILLE RETURNS TO LOS ANGELES WITH THE ULTIMATE FUTURISTIC DANCE PARTY
Last Friday Brit Pop genre-blurring kings Bastille made their return to Los Angeles with the Give Me The Future tour.
It’s not often you find a band quite like Bastille. First off, It was the purest form of a Bedroom Pop project started by now frontman Dan Smith. Now they’re four albums in with over 11 million records sold and over 1.5 billion streams. The band explores new territory not only with the Give Me The Future album but the tour as well. It’s a modern treatise on A.I., technology, social media, modern anxieties, connection in its many forms, and the human condition. All told through the lens of a futuristic dreamscape with limitless possibilities. Now after over two years of dealing with loss, change, and bittersweet moments of joy. Just learning how to connect and live in this new and different world of ours. Bastille is back on tour, returning to a joyous crowd that has been eagerly awaiting them since their last gig at The Greek Theatre.
This time around the band took the stage at a new venue, the YouTube Theater in Inglewood. Although expectations were high, Bastille rose to the challenge exceedingly well as did the opener. Opener Alice Merton was well-suited musically for the opening spot. Merton’s brand of spirited Indie-Esque Dance Pop tunes quickly got the crowd on their feet and dancing. Her eight-song set flew by and included newer tracks like “Same Team” and “Vertigo” both digging into her Alt-Rock roots. Pop numbers from Merton’s 2019 debut Mint, like “Lash Out” and “No Roots” all sounded big and amazing in person. The latter being the perfect anthemic closer.
As Bastille threw themselves full-throttle into the show, making sure everyone who attended left happy. Whether you knew all of their songs or only one. Whether you were along the barricade, or way up at the top. Bastille gigs have always been a safe haven. A place to have fun, and let go of any worries you may have for the time being. There were clear-cut fan favorites are the hits like “Happier” when Dan jumps into the crowd to jump and dance with everyone.
Bastille perfectly captured the futuristic fever of the Give Me The Future album in the live show, turning it up many notches on the production and sound. For fans and music lovers alike the electrifying setup really packed a punch in the rather intimate setup at the venue. The theater also had a unique floor and three-level setup which provided fantastic indoor acoustics. The band itself (and in L.A. the lovely vocalist Senab) are now all front and center all in one line. There’s the grandest giant pill-shaped 4K screen, which showed various vignettes and images for each song. Performing a twenty-song set with a two-song encore, the band feverishly welcomed the crowd into Future Inc. A futuristic dreamscape of sound and vision divided by seven segments. Opening up with the funk disco-inspired “Stay Awake?” a track that’s a nod to Dance and DJ music icons Daft Punk. It’s the perfect way to open up the gig, a concert that was the ultimate escape and dance party. “Stay Awake” was the perfect segue into GMTF’s lead single, “Distorted Light Beam”. One of many songs on the new album co-written with Pop hitmaker and One Republic frontman Ryan Tedder.
“Flaws” is now gorgeously stripped back. While the ultimate sing-along “Things We Lost In The Fire” still remains a staple at shows. Highlights from Doom Days include the groove-laden “Those Nights” and the racing “Quarter Past Midnight”. “WHAT YOU GONNA DO?” off of the Goosebumps EP is Bastille‘s most straightforward take on a rock song. It’s also an absolute banger of a jam live, with frontman Dan Smith switching up piano for the guitar. Dystopian dance-pop really punctuates most of the night and rightly so. It is Bastille after all. It was apt that GMTF’s moody title track, the spacey “Plug In”, and the neon-drenched haze of “Back to the Future”. All helped to keep the crowd on their feet that night.
The few quieter moments gave the show proper pacing and the band a chance to catch a breath or two. An unreleased track titled “Hope For The Future” was exquisite in a way that I haven’t heard from Bastille. Ultimately highlighting how much growth and harmony the band has developed over the years. The band ended the night on “Shut Out The Lights” and a bit of audience participation in the song’s chorus. It’s a song about being in the moment and shutting out the world with the one (or ones) you love. So far, “Shut Out The Lights” is a fitting successor to “Pompeii” in terms of energy and crowd response. Bastille remains the only band with each gig that can easily transport me into another place. Easily bringing out my inner dancer. They’ve only up the ante with this new era and the multitudes of weirdness, creativity, and talent behind it all.