Bastille Concert Review – Royal Oak Music Theatre: January 19, 2014
After seeing Bastille perform at the Royal Oak Music Theatre on Sunday night, one thing is for sure: in a short amount of time, this band has developed a following of seriously-dedicated fans.
The performance marked the band’s first in Detroit territory, and judging from the fact that they sold out a venue that holds 1,700 seats, it won’t be their last.
Having just released their debut record last year, it was incredible to see that the ROMT was packed wall-to-wall with people who were already well-versed in what seemed like every last lyric of band’s repertoire.
Swedish-American hybrid band Grizfolk got the show started off on the right foot as the opener, leaving the crowd bubbling at the brim to hear the evening’s main event.
Once they had taken the stage, Bastille’s energy level immediately rose to meet the crowd’s and never wavered during their extensive set, which included one of the most uniquely chosen covers I’ve ever heard at a show: a revamped version City High’s “What Would You Do?”
Though Bastille’s uniqueness didn’t stop there.
At its core, the four-piece group features a lead vocalist (Dan Smith), keyboardist (Kyle Simmons), bassist (William Farquarson) and drummer (Woody Wood), though everyone in the band is seemingly a multi-instrumentalist. Smith kept a floor tom and keyboard by his side through the duration of the show, as each additional member rotated through playing percussion, keys and guitar and lending their voices to create what are surely well-rehearsed harmonies.
Bastille kicked things off with their debut album’s title track, “Bad Blood,” and flowed through 16 songs, which incorporated sounds within the genres of rock, pop, electronica, atmospheric, and at times, folk, tribal and even reggae.
“The Draw” elicited such an explosive response from the audience one might think the song was already a well-known hit, while the powerful “Things We Lost in the Fire” and the haunting “Laura Palmer” boasted similar reactions.
After the obligatory encore fake-out, the band returned to the stage for three more songs, one of which was “Of the Night” – the UK rockers’ masterful mashup of Corona’s “The Rhythm of the Night” and Snap!’s “Rhythm is a Dancer.”
Bastille concluded the show with “Pompeii,” leaving it to the crowd to finish out the hit that’s launched them into early pop superstardom.
Indeed, audience members were very much a part of the entire show, as the band constantly called out the crowd to dance, sing, chant and jump along with their music.
The ever-boisterous Smith even made his way into the house at one point, weaving in and out of fans while singing as helpful hands lifted his mic chord over everyone’s heads.
Luckily, Bastille’s overall performance didn’t end up in the same space.