Bastille at The Academy (Review and Photos)

bastille-academy-18Bastille took the Dublin’s The Academy on April 4th, 2013. The band take a massive jump from having played the miniscule stage at The Academy 2 last October to playing to a sold out crowd in The Academy’s largest venue following the release of their album “Bad Blood” just last month.

The atmosphere of The Academy is almost palpable as front man Dan Smith and his signature towering quiff can be seen emerging on stage. The London-born quartet have garnered much critical acclaim following the release of their third single – Pompeii – which peaked at number 2 in the iTunes charts. Throughout the night, the crowd are testimony to why Bastille have deserved all of this attention. The crowd sing word-perfect lyrics back at front man Dan Smith for the entirety of the night, rarely taking a break from tirelessly pounding the floor of the Academy. The band’s debut album translates brilliantly onto a live stage, taking on a whole new life. Front man Dan Smith’s falsetto is purely powerful in a live set up.  Group drumming from the beginning of the night sets the energy-fuelled tone of the gig and Dan Smith bounds across the stage playing up to the crowd. The most remarkable part of this evening is that not one song in the set, even the cover, feels like a “filler”, each with terribly catchy lyrics and anthemic choruses.

Halfway through the set, the room suddenly reverts back to 2001, erupting into a group rendition of City High’s “What Would You Do?” Smith screams the chorus “What would you do?” only to be met with an explosive chanting retort from the crowd; “Get up off my feet and stop making tired excuses”. The joy of this section comes in the fact that this cover doesn’t feel like a cover at all. Bastille make it their own, mostly down to Dan’s distinctive vocals but also the swap from the hip hop fuelled rhythms of City High’s original to Bastille’s trademark mesh of heavy drums and intricate pop/rock synths and riffs.

A singular drum creates a powerful intro into “Icarus” and Dan doesn’t hesitate to jump onto the speakers to the delight of the front row. “Things We Lost in The Fire” follows, a prime example of Bastille’s anthemic style. For the hundredth time tonight, the crowd erupts into deafening chants.

The Academy briefly transforms into dance anthem central for “Of The Night”, a track which mashes classic 90’s dance anthem ‘Rhythm is a Dancer’ and ‘Rhythm of the Night’.

Another group drum breakdown with Dan Smith and bassist Will Farquarson pound on a singular drum to the right of the stage. The crowd delight in a heavy breakdown and burst into applause. In between the thunderous applause, front man Dan Smith can be heard giggling into the microphone, adorably rejoicing in the gratification. Breaking into their most successful hit, “Pompeii“, the crowd becomes deafening. They end on acapella chants of “Ey ey oh/Ey oh”, a chant which the crowd continue long after Bastille leave the stage and maintain until the band returns for the encore.

The final song of the evening is “Flaws” and Dan Smith takes this as an opportunity to climb the balcony of the Academy venue with a string of helpers feeding him microphone cord as he makes his way around the venue.  A thrilled crowd welcome the front man with hugs and high fives as he strolls around the upper tier of the venue without missing a single note of the track.

Bastille are a band not to be missed this year and their energetic performance style and boundless enthusiasm never fail to disappoint. Their album “Bad Blood” is currently available to buy on iTunes.

Review and photos by Laur Ryan


Lucy Ivan

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