A Monday night isn’t the ideal time for an 8 p.m. concert, but if the vibe is right, it’s definitely worth it.
Bastille was able to bring that vibe this past Monday night when they played at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in downtown San Francisco.
The indie alternative British group graced the stage after their energetic opening act, “Ella Eyre.”
Set changes took a nearly unbearable 45 minutes, but that’s not unusual during a concert. Once the lights went down, and the iconic triangle associated with the band lit up on stage, time became irrelevant.
The sound was like listening to lullabies that had been injected with adrenaline. A soothing aspect was countered with pounding instrumentals and passionate choruses.
The visuals alone added an essence of timelessness to the scene. Clips of videos and simple animations flickered behind the band with each song.
During the song “Icarus” an animated flock of birds flew behind the lead singer, Dan Smith as the lights shown orange like the sun rays mentioned in the lyrics. And as an unreleased song called “The Driver” was played, scenes from the film “Drive” flashed in the background to mix with the inspired lyrics and paint the tone visually as well as acoustically.
The performance was filled with hidden treasures. A song from an upcoming mini album was played before the release date. As was a song that they intend to put on an album, that as of yet, does not have a release date.
Together there was an environment of familiar and new. For the most part, the audience screamed and sang along with the band, but in cases like the two unreleased songs, there was a stifled intrigue cast over the congregation.
Everyone put their arms down and just listened. Smith’s voice and the music of the band were like a story being told. Each song’s lyrics were precise and unfolding. So when the unknown songs were played, it was like hearing a tale for the first time; a tale I’m sure fans will want to hear told again and again.
Smith claimed that he thought their songs could be depressing and he played their song “Oblivion” to highlight that point. But even that tune couldn’t bring down the energy in the house.
There was an addictive chemistry between the band members that passed onto the audience. They were constantly smiling to each other, hugging, and Smith chatted between each song like he had known each attendee personally.
It wasn’t until the last song that Bastille performed the piece that made them a household name: “Pompeii.” It was this moment that really captured the unity of the night. Smith called “Ella Eyre” and her bandmates to the stage to sing with them; he asked the audience to put their phones away and just enjoy the last few minutes of the night together. The energy, unity and happiness that flowed from the stage onto the audience closed the show perfectly and left the audience fulfilled.