Bastille w/ Ella Eyre – Concert Review

Bastille w/ Ella Eyre
Moda Center
11.13.2014

IMG_2592First of all, let me briefly mention the real important information here. September 20th of last year, Bastille plays the Doug Fir Lounge. One year and 23 days later, they pack the Rose Garden. That’s fucking insane, you guys.

Very rarely does a band start playing arena shows in their career at all, let alone in the course of a year after playing a bar. This just goes to show the amount of talent Bastille contains. They’re one of those bands where you remember the first time you heard them, and you never looked back.

The English rock band, as part of their latest and final tour for Bad Blood (their DEBUT), made a stop at the Rose Garden (Moda Center) Arena to play to a packed house. It was crazy seeing this scale of production and excitement of the fans for them. I could not picture them playing any smaller a venue than this in the future.

The night began with what became the best opening act I’ve ever witnessed. Ella Eyre is a British vocalist in the style of Chloe Howl or Foxes. I knew she was star material from her tracks, like the rousing pop song “If I Go”. However, I did not know the extent of the star power until I watched her go full on Queen Bey on us.

Ella Eyre packs a punch. She has such a powerhouse voice, she knows how to get the audience pumped up, and she strides the stage like Beyoncé. You can’t compare everyone to Yoncé, but Ella Eyre fits the bill.

She played a perfect set of songs, including “If I Go”, “Comeback”, and more off her EP. And, even though much of the audience didn’t know her at the beginning, she still had everyone immersed in her, singing every word, and dancing the hardest they’ve ever danced in their lives. If I had to be honest with you, I think Ella Eyre has the ability to be headlining her own shows at the Rose Garden next year.

Though Ella Eyre was amazing (and this wouldn’t be the last we’d see of her for the night), the crowd was wild for Bastille. So, when the lights dropped and the boys came out, everyone was on their feet.

Bastille’s setlist was perfect in all aspects. They opened up with one of my favorite tracks, “Things We Lost In The Fire”, before going straight into “Weight of Living”. The thing about Bastille is that… there really are no down tracks. They’re all amazing. So, no matter what you have where, it’s going to be a 10/10 show.

The really cool thing about this “Bad Blood: The Last Stand” Tour though was the stage setup. They’ve got an arena stage to play with, so they did the most they could with it. Behind them, a giant triangle-shaped screen to show us video footage and visuals, along with giant bars of light in every direction. It was a true spectacle to behold.

For every song, they either showed music video clips, special footage for the tour, or live images of the band. It was an arena show. What you’d expect, but taken to its next fullest level.

The band powered through more A+ songs, including popular tracks like “Bad Blood”, “These Streets”, and more. With the amazing lighting and spectacular production, leading man Dan Smith brought the fullest amount of energy from himself, jumping around and getting down. The whole thing was fun to watch, but him alone was enough.

There were a few certain highlights of this show that I must point out. First of all, they played a new song, “The Driver”, which they wrote for the special soundtrack for the movie, Drive, and will also be included on their next mixtape, titled VS. 

While playing this song, a slow but powered and grungy track, the triangle screen showed scenes from the film. It was a really cool moment in the show, and I can’t wait to hear what else Bastille will give us in Other People’s Heartache (Pt. III).

The second highlight of the show was a track off of their last mixtape, Other People’s Heartache (Pt. II). It was a track called “No Angels”, a mash-up of “No Scrubs” by TLC and “Angels” by The Xx. And, like I said, we were soon to see the amazing Ella Eyre again. This was her time.

Dan and Ella belted this track, a song that just gets shoved into every ounce of your conscious and makes you want to sing along as loud as you possibly can. Though it may not sound like TLC and The Xx are a good collab, with Dan and Ella’s powerful vocal work, and the amazing backtracking of the rest of Bastille, the song works SO WELL. (Here’s proof.)

The last highlight of the show was the encore, or at least right before the encore, and the end of the encore. Before leaving the stage for a brief moment, the band played another popular track, “Flaws”. However, the didn’t just play it from the stage like everything else. Dan Smith came down into the crowd and danced with EVERYONE. He seriously got around to every corner of the pit and jumped up and down with them. It was really cool to see that, despite playing a much larger venue, they have still maintained this fan connection.

The special fan connection can also be observed pre-show when they let the dedicated fans who had been waiting in the freezing cold since 6 in the morning into soundcheck, and met them all inside. What down to Earth people.

After coming back out, Bastille played a three song encore, including “Get Home”, All This Bad Blood track “Of The Night” (which included a mass audience jump session), and then, the last song of course, “Pompeii”.

What made this “Pompeii” special was the reappearance of Ella Eyre to dance on the stage with the band, and just raise the bar a little bit for the amount of energy the stage could handle.

Bastille brought their A-game for “The Last Stand”, and I can’t wait to see what they’ve got in store for us with VS. and an eventual album two. I’m sure Rose Garden will gladly take them in once again.

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