Prove your humanity

Last Tuesday saw popular British outfit, Bastille, wrap up their international Doom Days Tour Part 2 at Metropolis Fremantle—a night of engaging visuals, genre-defying bops and high-energy escapism.

First up, Texan indie pop one-piece Max Frost greeted the crowded venue with upbeat drum loops, call-and-response sections and funky instrumentals. The way he moved from instrument to instrument—from hitting wonky synth chords or sliding into drum solos—was unlike any solo artist I’d seen before. At one point, he was playing drums with two guitars strapped to him, and he could certainly get what seemed to be the whole venue screaming pop lyrics back to him in songs like Money Problems and Good Morning.

Shortly after Max Frost’s vibrant set, Bastille entered with the feel-good sounds of Quarter Past Midnight, anthemic tune Send Them Off and the mythology-inspired Icarus. As a multicoloured screen and stage lights lit up the room, front man Dan Smith and the band greeted a blaring crowd with smiles, stunning instrumentals and sleek vocal harmonies. They continued the set with hits from their three albums across the years—older, recognisable tracks like Laura Palmer, Bad Blood and Of The Night got the crowd going with as much enthusiasm as newer songs like Doom Days and Joy from the recent album.

During their 2013 performance of Flaws, front man Smith descended into the thick of the crowd, traversing the two-storey venue. I always like when high-calibre artists engage with the audience in cosy ways. With Smith describing the Doom Days album as an ‘intimate escapist’ record taking place on a night out, the music’s essence and the gig’s welcoming vibe made their 90-minute set feel like a genuine shared experience.

Some highlights of the gig included the band stopping to sing the universal Happy Birthday song to Kyle Simmons (keyboard, backing vocals)—complete with a cake, candles and a party hat—and Smith reaching into the crowd to bring up some fan art on the stage.

Sound wise, the venue’s stacks of speakers carried the instrumentals and vocals well, although it appeared that Smith was having issues with either his microphone or in-ear monitors, directing head shakes the side of stage at times during the set. With a strong finish to the night, Bastille invited Max Frost back on stage to join them in performing breakthrough hit Pompeii, as a euphoric crowd sung along to the end. Not only wrapping up the night but their world tour.

In Bastille’s music I find serenity and good intention. With candid songs like 4AM, Another Place and Good Grief, there’s plenty of opportunity for their audience to express themselves and let loose. Overall, a wonderful gig from Bastille.