Bastille’s Monday night concert at the Commodore Ballroom has been sold out for ages- and now we know why. From their day-time free secret gig, to their final encore song, Vancouver officially fell in love with the boys of Bastille.
Once in an indie while, a band emerges and gathers a solid, loyal following, and Bastille has been this recent breakthrough band. From a Saturday Night Live appearance, to numerous awards, Bastille is now on a major North American tour that includes music festivals. Sharing their bill on this leg of the tour is their English friends, To Kill a King– a sweet, melodic rock group that was able to rile up the crowd early in the evening. Being their first time in the city, To Kill a King’s vocalist Ralph Pelleymounter and guitarist Grant McNeil were spotted hanging out by the merch table after their set. I spoke with McNeil briefly, he said they loved Vancouver and the nature the city offers. These guys were super friendly, and can rock a crowd.
Soon after my chat with McNeil, the lights dimmed and the audience went wild. Bastille opened their set boldly with “Bad Blood”- their album’s title track. Cheers between songs were loud, it was clear these fans waited a long time to see Bastille play in Vancouver. There were fans dancing, some clapping, others tapping their feet- but almost all sang along to the majority of the songs. The group’s frontman, Dan Smith, rocked a retro Jurassic Park t-shirt, and at one point got on chatting about Vancouver calling it “an awesome city.”
Even as they introduced their new song “Blame”, the crowd responded positively and enthusiastically. And nostalgia hit during the mellow single- and my personal favourite- “Overjoyed”, when I saw a lighter or two swinging above the crowd. The 90-minute set featured other fan favourites: “Icarus”, “Things we Lost in the Fire”, and “Laura Palmer”. During “Flaws”, some lucky fans got a very up-close and personal view of Smith as he walked into the crowd while singing the upbeat hit.
As the band disappeared before their encore, fans stomped on the grounds of the Commodore, echoing a loud march throughout the venue. Bastille’s three song encore opened with Daniel in the Den, and to my utter 90’s childhood surprise- they played their own spectacular version of Corona’s “Rhythm of the Night” and “Rhythm Is a Dancer” by Snap!, which they call “Of the Night.” The audience participation on the floor was a huge hit as the concert turned into a dance party, and this was a great way to lead into the most anticipated song of the night. To Kill a King joined Bastille on stage for “Pompeii”- the band’s most popular single.
As the crowd dispersed at the end of such an energetic night, I realize this may be one of the last times the Vancouver fans can see Bastille in a more intimate, great sounding venue. The band is off to play some of the world’s largest music festivals, including Coachella which starts this weekend.
By the exit doors, I hear “eh ey yo eh yo,” as fans continue to chant into the downtown streets. And I chant along.
Weight of Living, Pt. II
Things We Lost in the Fire
Daniel in the Den
Of the Night
Feature Image: Bastille’s Facebook