Bastille Plays The Fillmore for 106.5 The End’s Festivus
What better way to kick off the holiday season than a Festivus concert with Bastille?
Presented by Charlotte’s local alternative rock radio station, 106.5 the END, the show also included outstanding acts The Glorious Sons and Meg Myers. Benefiting the Kids First Foundation of the Carolina’s, the holiday cheer was in full swing and all fans were in favor of a musical event for a good cause.
Bastille, having recently resurfaced into the real world after a hiatus, returned to Charlotte as a part of the small string of radio shows they are playing before the release of new music. The band consists of lead singer Dan Smith, keyboardist Kyle Simmons, guitarist Will Farquarson, and drummer Chris Wood. Creating electrifying indie pop, the band has been dominating the charts since the release of their first album, Bad Blood, in 2013. Bastille was given their major break with the release of “Pompeii” and if you were alive in 2013, you would be lying if you say you have never heard the metaphorically genius hit. Hailing from London, the British accents, honest lyrics, powerful choruses, and high performance energy, make them hard not to love. And if you love their music, once you see them live, you’ll love them even more.
Meg Myers kicked off Festivus on Monday night. Powerful and mystical, her music is outspoken and unapologetic. As she released her first album in 2013, the musician has continued to climb her way to the top, with over 13 million streams on her song “Desire” and the release of her third album “Take Me To The Disco”.
Myers channels edge and vulnerability in her performance to prove to the audience that she puts her heart into her music.
With only a five song setlist, the musician played “Jealous Sea”, “Motel”, “Numb”, “Desire”, and ended on “Little Black Death”.
Next up was The Glorious Sons, a Canadian rock band from Kingston, Ontario. Emerging on stage bare-footed, lead singer Brett Emmons was instantly dancing all over the stage and shaking his long hair in his harlem globetrotters jersey.
The five piece band originally formed in 2011 and have since released three studio albums. The gritty and raspy sound of Emmons’ voice combined with the band’s musicality gave them the charisma of a classic rock band and youth of a modern alternative artist.
The Glorious Sons was a band that I truly enjoyed. Having never listened to them prior to the announcement of Festivus, I appreciated being able to thoroughly listen to them for the first time live.
My favorite song they sang was “S.O.S. (Sawed Off Shotgun)” which was the second song in their set.
Before Bastille’s set, the DJs from 106.5 came onstage to hype up the crowd, thank fans for coming out, and gifted a $2,000 set to Kids First of the Carolina’s.
Opening with “Good Grief”, Bastille had the stage set with multiple transparent instrument stands, an elevated stage for band members, and boxes for lead singer Smith to jump on. As the lights dimmed and Bastille ran on stage there was an instant overpowering force of energy from fans. As “Good Grief” is the first song off their most recent album Wild World, it was a very appropriate opener and acted as a nice welcome to old and new fans.
Next up was “Blame”, a fictional story of a gang murder. As the powerful deep synth began the song, I couldn’t help but notice how addicting Bastille’s music is. They have you hooked from the first beat with quick changes from verse to chorus. Dan Smith’s lyrical talent is part of what makes Bastille such a successful band. With songs like “Pompeii”, or even “What Would You Do”, Smith differentiates himself from other popular alternative artists. While they do sing love songs like any band, Bastille discusses social issues, historical events, and personal experiences through their music.
When Bastille sang “World Gone Mad” Smith introduced the song as “super depressing”. As the band had written it for Bright, a movie released last December including Will Smith, the song gives a more stripped down approach. With an acoustic guitar as the base of the song, “World Gone Mad” showcases Bastille’s versatility.
Halfway through the set the band played one of their most recent releases and collaborations, “Happier”. Smith exclaimed that when he wrote the song he knew he wanted to share it with someone as it had the potential for a collaboration. So, when the opportunity to work with Marshmello came along, they couldn’t turn it down. The song was released in August and is the lead single from their upcoming album “Doom Days”. Having already accumulated over 350 million streams on Spotify, it was a good turn in the right direction to release the song prior to “Doom Days”.
At the show on Monday night, Bastille shared with fans that they are releasing part four of Other People’s Heartache mixtape this Friday. Smith said “it’s got a lot of weird, weird stuff”. Prior to the announcement, many fans had decoded a teaser with short clips from soundtracks that included mysterious commentary. As it has been four years since the release of their last mixtape that included songs such as “The Driver”, “Bite Down” (Bastille Vs. HAIM) fans were overjoyed with the announcement. Bastille’s mixtapes are a way of keeping things fresh for the band as it encourages collaboration, experimentation, and discovery.
After speaking of the next mixtape, Smith transitioned by asking the crowd if they would like them to sing a song off a previous version of Other People’s Heartache. He allowed the crowd to vote for either “Of the Night” or “No Angels”. As “No Angels” was the winner, a clip from the horror film Psycho played while the crowd cheered for the performance that was about to occur.
Before the encore, Bastille played “Flaws” and Smith disappeared from the stage to immerse himself in the crowd. Encouraging fans to join him in a giant dance party, the artist covered nearly every inch of the Fillmore, high-fiving fans and getting directly into their personal space.
As the band returned from the encore, they played “Quarter Past Midnight”, another single from their upcoming album and a perfect song to come back from the encore. Smith exhibited his admirably sweet voice and everyone in the venue sang along, rejoicing as Bastille came back on stage.
Ending on “Pompeii”, Smith and the band thanked fans and said “We’re Bastille and this has been Festivus, have a good one and hopefully we’ll see you guys soon”. When the first resound of the chorus queued, Charlotte made a Monday night feel like a Friday night. Fans joined Smith, jumping in unison with such strength that the floor of the Fillmore was shaking
As the band exited the stage, a sense of fulfillment was spread among fans at the Fillmore. Bastille is one of those bands that makes you feel good after a show, not only because you got in a great workout but also because of their talent and ability to entertain. With the release of a new album coming up, and a mixtape this week, Bastille is a band that needs to be on your radar.