Venue: The Coliseum, Hard Rock Hotel, Singapore
Date: 9th January 2015
Review by: Hanis A.
Special Thanks: Dan, and the Now/Live team
Watching Bastille live is everything you could imagine it to be — loud music, upbeat tempo; it was a party and everyone was welcome. There was an unusually larger crowd that evening, one much bigger than the coliseum is used too having. Waiting in the packed crowd got people impatient, but fortunately, there were some beats by the opening DJ set by Ginette Chittick to calm the crowd down. Setting them up with late nineties and early 00’s indie tracks, most were already getting into the spirit of things while waiting for Bastille to grace the stage.
As the DJ set closed and a few last minute tweaks were made for the band, the crowd starting chanting for Bastille. Then, all at once, the music was turned down and the houselights dimmed and we see the group step onto the stage. Of course, the crowd went wild. The guys were a mellow bunch and went straight into picking up their instruments to start the first song, “Bad Blood”.
Bad Blood was a good pick to open the show, with its mellow beats and echoed chants, inviting the crowd in to sing along. Though they only had a handful of songs from their Laura Palmer EP, and their debut album, Bad Blood, they managed to churn out captivating moments. Dan Smith was extremely inviting. He kept interacting with the crowd, hyping up all the fans, pointing out and waving to the different groups of people in the Coliseum, and acknowledging their presence in the crowd. It must have felt nice being noticed in a crowd of 3500.
They moved on to the next two songs, the ever-upbeat, “The Weight of Living, Pt. II” and “Laura Palmer”. These songs really got the crowd jumping and dancing. It was inevitable that we did so. As the first few beats played for “Things We Lost In The Fire”, everyone knew what was coming. The crowd sang along to the sad lyrics but danced about to the catchy beats. Dan himself could not help but apologize for the sorrowful words in their songs, though the audience did not mind one bit.
“The Driver” had a very, very different vibe. The beginning had a grungey, old-school guitar-only melody. The sudden injection of electronic beats gave the song so many different points of attraction; it really held the fans’ attention. The acoustics in the Coliseum did so much to facilitate the sounds of the amplifiers; it was as if they were made specifically for loud, amplified rock anthems.
To go back to the regular Bastille vibes, the band kicked it off with the epic, “The Silence”. The rhythmic chugging of the guitars and steady drumbeats just keeps it upbeat from start to end. The crowd went insane trying to keep up.
“Oblivion” was a quiet number, which saw everyone settling in to take a break from jumping about. It was a nice and quiet track with just Dan on the keyboards singing to the crowd. Everyone was swaying to the tune, raising their arms, reaching out to Dan to reciprocate the earnestness in his vocals.
After a brief note of encouragement for their fans to participate in piracy to gain access to their covers of other musicians and a quick apology to TLC fans, the band went into what was one of the favourites of the night, the medley of TLC’s “No Scrubs” and The xx’s “Angels”. Everyone lit up, and it seemed like they all knew the words to this old R&B classic. It was quite beautiful to see everyone sing together to this one accompanied with the haunting tunes of the xx’s “Angels” echoing off the walls, and the brilliance that is Dan Smith’s voice. These guys really knew what they were doing with this one.
Trying to get the crowd back on track, they went straight into the catchy beats of “Icarus”, one of their more popular songs. Hyped from the “No Angels” cover, the crowd carried it forward in this song too.
Before playing the next tune, the band described it as their “terrible attempt at being in a grunge band”. They seemed almost embarrassed but at the same time excited to share it with their fans. At the first chugging of the guitar, you could definitely feel the grunge vibes. This song seemed most appropriate to play at The Coliseum, a venue most suited for loud, amplified sound. It was truly an amazing performance.
Then a familiar riff plays across the venue, and we see Dan put on a hoodie, and everyone knew what was about to happen. Dan jumped right into the welcoming crowd singing all the words, unfazed. After swerving through a mob of fans, Dan climbed back on stage with the cheekiest of grins and headed backstage with the band.
Of course they returned for an encore, with “Get Home” and another crowd favourite, the beautiful “Of The Night”. By this time, the fans were already going all out and dancing and jumping around, screaming along to the aptly worded lyrics, “this is the rhythm of my night”. But of course, to finish, Bastille played the inevitable “Pompeii”, the ultimate favourite, where everyone knew each and every word. Dan gave his all, whacking away at the drums, jumping about from one side of the stage to the other, and pointing out to members of the crowds, inviting them to dance along.
At the end, Dan thanked the crowd and the band took a last bow and left the stage. These boys were definitely amazing live and you could see just how much they put into ensuring they put up a good performance and make it an experience for the fans.