Friday 1 April 2022

Bastille - Bournemouth International Centre - 31st March 2022

Maybe it was just me, or maybe it was them...

Over the last year or so, I've come to enjoy the music of Bastille, so I thought I'd go and see them live.

The nearest venue (outside London) was the Bournemouth International Centre, which is about an hour away, so not too bad (and quicker than going to many venues in London).

In terms of timing, all the ticket said was 'Doors 18:30', which seemed incredibly early, so I arrived about 7:15 and could hear music from the hall and it turned out a support act, The Native, were already playing.

They were a group of lads from, I think, Plymouth, playing Indy style music. For a support act, I thought they were pretty good. The sound balance wasn't too terrible (as it so often is) and their set was enjoyable. Definitely a good start.

There was another drum kit on stage with the word 'Dylan' on and after a short while a young woman with a guitar appeared and a young man sat behind the drum kit.

They started playing and another woman, a blonde, appeared and started singing.

The singer introduced herself as the 'Dylan' in question and their set was equally enjoyable, being quite a rock style set, including a cover of Guns N Roses' 'Paradise City', with a hint of Taylor Swift.

I'm probably just getting old, but it was refreshing to see a young female performer doing something other than RnB and she was pretty good - I hope she goes far.

Once again, for a support act, pretty enjoyable.

About 40 minutes passed and the lights went down again, to be replaced with a huge video display at the back of the stage and Bastille appeared.

Throughout the set the songs were interspersed and introduced by voiceovers (much as tracks do on their albums) and animated videos on the screen, which also showed live video from the gig at times.

I knew a lot of the songs and most of the audience around me in the first hour, when I stood close to the front, were clearly diehard fans (One bloke next to me sang every word of every song at the top of his voice, drowning out Dan much of the time, hence I moved!).

However, while it would be an exageration to say I didn't enjoy the gig, it all felt a little flat much of the time.

The band, aside from Dan, were mainly static, poorly lit and seemed relatively uninvolved. It was noticeable, too that, other than the two backing vocalists, no-one was introduced.

Dan himself skipped from side to side of the stage a lot, sometimes went up to the back of the stage and stood in front of the screen and sometimes reclined on what looked like a psychiatrist's couch, but while he talked to the audience from time to time, he wasn't very charismatic as a front man, in my view.

He also, by his own admission, seemed to be struggling vocally. At times he clearly wasn't hitting notes, showing his frustration, and after about half the set commented that he'd almost lost his voice.

Most of the audience, though, didn't seem to notice or care and cheered every song, bounced up and down to the faster tracks and regularly broke into co-ordinated clapping.

The highlights were the hits, of course, and they ended the main set with their best know, Pompeii, with its 'Eh-eh-oh, eh-oh' chant, following a lively cover of 'Rythmn of the Night'.

The lights didn't go up after that and the audience soon broke into a repeated 'Eh-eh-oh, eh-oh' chant and they were soon back for the obligatory encore.

This was a ballad and the lively 'Shut Off The Lights' to round out.

I like Bastille's music, although you could argue they're a bit Coldplay-ish, but if I'm honest, seeing them live didn't seem to add anything.

Maybe I was tired or just not in the right mindset to fully enjoy a gig that evening or maybe they were struggling to hit top form as they started their tour, but it won't rank as a favourite gig, although I certainly didn't feel it was bad as such.

The support acts had been good and it was good to hear my favourite tracks played live, but I don't imagine I'll go and see them live again.

I suspect, though, that a lot of the audience felt differently, certainly many seemed to be having a great time.

Set List :
Stay Awake?
Distorted Light Beam
Things We Lost in the Fire(New version)
Laura Palmer
Those Nights
Quarter Past Midnight
Back to the Future
Plug In…
WHAT YOU GONNA DO??? (Extended intro)
Good Grief
Give Me the Future
Grip(Seeb & Bastille cover) (Stripped)
No Bad Days
Happier(Marshmello & Bastille cover)
Run Into Trouble (Live debut, New Song)
The Rhythm Of the Night
Future Holds

Hope for the Future
Shut Off the Lights

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