Bastille Bombards Barclays with Authenticity

By Veronica Liow, Multimedia Editor

On March 30, fans stood in line for Bastille’s Wild, Wild World Tour hours before the doors opened at the Barclays Center fervently hoping to get as close to the stage as possible. Those hours were not a waste. With the compelling art that Bastille brings to the indie pop genre in addition to the exceptional visuals that beautifully accompanied its songs, there is no surprise that the screams from the excitement of the crowd shook the entire venue.

Hailing from London, Bastille is comprised of lead vocalist Dan Smith, drummer Chris Wood,  bassist William Farquarson and keyboardist Kyle Simmons. The band has grown its reach exponentially since its debut in 2010, from their first studio album “Bad Blood” in 2013 to their second LP “Wild World” in 2016.

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Photos by Veronica Liow.

Smith’s seemingly effortless voice accompanied by Farquarson’s and Simmons’s instrumentals created a harmonious flow. The smooth undertones of the backing vocals added to the already in sync tones. And with the dynamic rhythm commanded by Wood, the venue shook to the rhythm of the songs, inviting even stationary fans to be brought closer to the music.

Throughout the concert, Bastille never once stopped moving. Smith ran into the crowd and up and down the stands during “Flaws” to get more up-close and personal with fans. During “Two Evils,” Smith and Simmons found themselves on the balcony. The attention the members of Bastille pays to all parts of the crowd showcases their care for their audience, and this detail brought the excitement within the venue to a different level.

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Despite the liveliness of the Bastille members as they roamed around on stage, the seemingly upbeat songs did not parallel the the content of the lyrics. Smith made it a point to note how many of Bastille’s song revolve around serious and rather depressing topics, even if they may not sound like so. This awareness that arises due to Smith’s comment provoked the thoughts of audience members, who began to look beyond the seemingly happy surface.

The authenticity that Bastille brings into the audience is commendable. Its accompanying visuals matched not only matched well with the indie pop vibes, but also in some instances stood alone. After Bastille played “Good Grief,” a reel about fake news played on screen, satirizing the existence of truth-bending in politics. Bastille is not just a band that produces compelling music but also one to use their musical platform to provoke thoughts. Bastille speaks to its audience — they don’t sing at it.

Email Veronica Liow at music@nyunews.com.

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