Bastille in Toronto, October 2014

I saw Bastille last night at the Air Canada Centre, and “Bad Blood: The Last Stand” was a pretty damned good show.

This is my second time seeing Bastille live; we saw them last year at the Phoenix Concert Theatre, which is a much smaller, more intimate venue than the ACC—there were maybe fifteen hundred people there last year. Last year, Nightmare and the Cat and Little Daylight opened for Bastille (just performing songs from Bad Blood with a couple of covers thrown in). This year, there were at most ten thousand people attending with only the lower bowl of the ACC open in concert mode.

The opening band was Grizfolk from Los Angeles. They were pretty good—a sound reminiscent of later U2 with some modern folk-rock stylings (there were hints of either The Lumineers or Of Monsters and Men in some of the songs).

After a slightly-too-long delay, Bastille took the stage in fine form with “Things We Lost in the Fire”. (All pictures are untouched, taken with the iPhone 5S and the Olloclip Telephoto lens.)

They continued from Bad Blood with “The Weight of Living, Part I” (they didn’t play part II either last year or this year), followed by “Laura Palmer” (one of my favourite songs from the album).

Although Bastille has only one album so far, I’m not familiar with all of their music. The remix extended album All This Bad Blood has “Laughter Lines”. (Making the playlist in real time—even when you don’t know all of the music—is much easier in the age of always-on Internet access, because I was able to google some of the lyrics and find the song name to caption my image really easily. Awesome.)

They returned to the main album with the title track, “Bad Blood”, and then treated us to a live performance of “Blame” which is from their upcoming album. (Which Dan said would be out when they finish it, whenever that is.)

I really love the album Bad Blood—there’s nary a bad track on it, but there are songs like “Overjoyed” that are quite touching, followed by another song from All This Bad Blood, “The Poet” was played next. This was mildly marred by a couple of loudmouths behind me who were talking during the song (until I said something).

The original Bad Blood songs continued with “These Streets”, followed by two songs from All This Bad Blood: “Skulls” and “The Silence” (which is catchy enought that even though I had not heard it before last night, I was singing it with the crowd fairly quickly).

For their “most depressing song”, Dan asked that everyone use our cameraphone lights for “Oblivion” (click on the Moby link for a short video I took of the crowd).

A particular treat was hearing “No Angels”, a mash-up of TLC’s “No Scrubs” and The XX’s “Angels”. Apparently, the mixtape release that they made that included this was the subject of no small amount of controversy, so it isn’t officially available anywhere but you can apparently find it, although they don’t encourage anyone to download music they haven’t bought…

The videoboard was understated—until “Icarus”, when a short video of flying bird silhouettes was shown.

Another new one from All This Bad Blood, “The Draw” has a haunting feel, and then Dan wandered around the ACC for “Flaws” to end the main set.

After a couple of minutes, Dan came out alone for “Get Home”, the first song of the three-song encore. (Our fellow audience members were a disappointment here, as well, as a couple of knuckleheads in the row in front of us decided to light up a cigarette—the ACC is a non-smoking venue, and I’m midly allergic to tobacco smoke. Even if I wasn’t, it’s a horrible smell.)

The second song in the encore was “Of the Night”, a song we first heard at last year’s Phoenix concert, a mash-up of “The Rhythm of the Night” by Corona and “Rhythm is a Dancer” by Snap!. It’s been released a couple of times, most recently on All This Bad Blood.

To close out the concert—a fairly short 90 minutes—Bastille invited invited Grizfolk on stage to sing “Pompeii”.

Last year at the Phoenix, the familiar guitar opening from Julee Cruise’s “Falling” (the “Twin Peaks” theme) was played as Bastille came on the stage; this year it was played after the lights came up and it was time to leave. So, at the end of this review, I leave you with “Falling”.

All in all, this was a good concert, the poor choices of fellow attendees notwithstanding. I am glad, however, I got to hear Bastille in a smaller venue before seeing them in a stadium show.

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