Bastille rocks Vancouver with two concerts in one day

Text by Hanna Stefan, photography by Craig Fleisch
Despite the fact that London, UK-based indie rock/pop group Bastille debuted their first album less than a year ago, devoted local fans gave the band an intense welcome at the Commodore Ballroom last night. 
 
Fans waited outside the Commodore for the better part of the day to guarantee a spot close to the front. You can also guarantee that these were the same fans who attended the Bastille Secret Show, hosted byThe PEAK 102.7, earlier that day. At 11AM yesterday morning, the radio show released the location for a Secret Show outside the Vancouver Maritime Museum. The show was at 1 p.m., giving fans two hours to make their way down to the venue. 

The show was short but sweet. The Indie-Pop/Indie-Rock band from London, UK, played four songs: 'Bad Blood,' 'Flaws,' 'Things we Lost in the Fire' and of course, the song that brought them into stardom, 'Pompeii.' The crowd was instantly blown away by the voice of the lead singer, Dan Smith, who may in fact sound better live than on his record. 
 
Personally, I've been dying to see Bastille in concert ever since I saw the Youtube video of their BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge performance, where they uniquely covered Miley Cyrus' 'We Can't Stop,' set to the beat of Eminem's 'Lose Yourself." And although their Miley Cyrus cover didn't make last night's set list, their mash up single, "Of the Night," certainly did. This revamped version combines Corona's 'The Rhythm of the Night' with Snap!'s 'Rhythm is a Dancer.' This track can be found on the reissue of their album, 'All this Bad Blood.' 
 
These unique covers reflect how Bastille first came into being: as a solo project by frontman, Dan Smith, who would write his own music and mash-ups on his laptop for fun. It shows that this indie-pop band can cover absolutely anything, but at the same time, their own sound comes through and an original song is heard. However, now that the band has taken off, these type of cover songs and keyboard recordings appear to act as a concert-filler for their own music. Smith is now joined on stage by three additional members: keyboardist Kyle Simmons, bassist William Farquarson, and drummer Chris 'Woody' Wood. Their synergy on stage is undeniable. It was a careful, well-rehearsed production, but at the same time, it came off as natural and incredibly genuine. 
 
The sold-out show started off with their hit single "Bad Blood." This bass-heavy song got the crowd going and set the mood for the rest of the night. It was a vastly different performance compared to the mellow show at the Maritime Museum earlier that day. Unlike the daytime show, the crowd was jumping and dancing right from the get-go. Bastille turned their slightly weary-sounding album into unrestrained, crowd-pleasing performance.  
 
Of the 17 songs Bastille performed, six of them are hit singles. Whether it be 'Overjoyed' or 'Laura Palmer,' Smith never lost the full attention of the audience. During "Of the Night," he instructed everyone to "Get Down!" in which we all crouched low to the floor, waiting for his cue to "Jump!" back up and continue dancing at our full potential. At one point, he zipped up his hoodie, threw the hood over his head, and hopped off the stage into the screaming crowd. He weaved his way through the audience, followed by a security guard holding a flashlight as a spotlight. The fans were immensely appreciative of this gesture and respected his space as he sang yet another popular hit, 'Flaws.' 
 
From what I can tell, these devoted fans (myself included) seemed to know every last lyric of the entire show — right until the final note of the encore. The encore consisted of a trio of songs, ending with their most popular hit, "Pompeii." The band was joined on stage by the opening act, To Kill a King, who also helped them record this song for their album. In the last moments of the concert, Smith stopped singing and the band stopped playing. The only sound was the chorus of the entire crowd singing back the final lines, a cappella. A moment that is guaranteed to give anyone goosebumps, even if you're not a Bastille fan. But after last nights show, I can't imagine anyone not becoming a Bastille fan. They're definitely going to need a bigger venue the next time they're in town.
 

Evening's Setlist
 
1. Bad Blood
2. Weight of Living, Pt II
3. Blame
4. Laura Palmer
5. Poet
6. Overjoyed
7. Laughter Lines
8. These Streets
9. The Silence
10. Icarus
11. Oblivion
12. The Draw
13. Things We Lost in the Fire
14. Flaws
 
Encore:
 
15. Daniel in the Den
16. Of the Night
17. Pompeii (with To Kill A King)
 

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