REVIEW Bastille, Barclaycard Arena

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Back in 2013 Bastille played the O2 Institute to just a handful of fans. Last night they returned to Birmingham to perform at Barclaycard Arena in front of thousands.

Fans of the four-piece fronted by Dan Smith have been patiently waiting for three years for the mighty Bastille to return to Birmingham, and that was reflected in the practically sold-out gig last night.

Bastille are a band that are showing no signs of slowing down; following the release of their debut album Bad Blood back in 2013, they went on to become one of the biggest acts in the country, taking stage slots at numerous festivals across the country including a set at Glastonbury’s the Other Stage earlier this year.

So it’s no wonder that they seemed to skip a gig at the O2 Academy and head back to Birmingham a few years down the lime to play one of the city’s biggest venues for their Wild Wild World tour.

The band burst onto the stage to thunderous screams and cheers, breaking straight into the powerful Send Them Off!

“Hello, Birmingham!,” frontman Dan bellowed, “How’re you doing? We’re here to celebrate our album Wild World, we hope you like it,”  he added before sending the crowd wild with the fantastic Laura Palmer. Within the space of 10 minutes this gig was absolutely flying – yet Dan was only just getting started.

The frontman is known for not shying away from his crowds, and that became abundantly clear when he decided to take a trip straight through the jam-packed crowd to party with the fans as he broke into the catchy Flaws.

As the band worked their way effortlessly through their setlist, which included tracks from both their debut and current album, Dan seemed to take it all in his stride and grab the attention of the crowd with ease with his flawless vocals.

As usual, he didn’t hold back from his hectic dancing that saw him wizz around the stage. “So you may have noticed that I’m really awful at dancing,” he joked. “This song is a cover and it normally sees me do a lot of dancing, but if you guys could help me out and jump around too, I might not look so mad for the next two minutes,” he added before the band broke into the adrenalin-pumping Of the Night.

If there’s one thing that this show wasn’t short of, it was sheer energy. Whilst Dan proceeded to enter the crowd to get to a platform in the centre of the area on numerous occasions, plus make a surprise appearance in block three for the eerie but beautiful Two Evils, the rest of the band didn’t hold back in bringing one heck of a powerful performance to the stage.

It was so refreshing to see a band that have clearly worked so hard to mould their music into something that they’re proud of, and Dan’s gratitude to their fans shone through all night as he proceeded to continuously thank the crowd.

“You lot have been so awesome tonight,” he beamed. “Thank you so much for coming along and making our Tuesday night so much fun. I’m so sorry if I keep saying thank you, but it’s just because we’re so genuinely grateful to be here,” he continued. “We have one last song to play for you and we want you to sing it as loud as you can.”

The band rounded off their set with the crowd-pleasing Good Grief and their chart-topping debut single, Pompeii.

If there’s one way to return to a city for your first arena tour, this was it. Bravo Bastille, don’t stay away too long this time.




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