WORDS AND IMAGES BY WARREN MILLAR
English rock pop band “Bastille” brought their “Give Me The Future” tour to Manchester’s AO Arena Friday night. This being the third date of a U.K. wide tour showcasing the latest album “Give Me The Future”. mention “Bastille” to any music lover and instinctively they will think of their hit single “Pompeii” it became a classic hit back in 2013 a stalwart at many a summer festival. Try a youtube search of this song live and you’ll see what I mean.
Bastille’s latest album, which this tour promotes is a look into the future, a sci-fi fantasy world explored with music, a bit more electronic but still with that “Bastille” rock pop feel and with Dan Smiths unmistakable voice it’s definably Bastille-esque. “Give Me The Future” is well worth a listen and for any Bastille Fan it’s a slight change but in a good way. It takes a look at what the future may hold in these uncertain times with all that’s going on at the moment and with its beats, lyrics and optimistic feel it tells us what ever lies ahead in these times we might as well just do our best.
It’s another bright, sunny but cold early evening as we make our way to Manchester for tonight’s gig. It reminds us how nice it is to be traveling to a night time gig in bright sunshine even if it’s still quite cold. Summer is on its way. Although having mentioned the weather once we got to The AO Arena it suddenly became darker and we got snow just for half an hour though, then out came the bright skys again.
I apologise now for the lack of insight into the two support bands tonight. As I was photographing and writing the review I only got to listen to the first three songs of the supports before I had to retreat out the back of the arena so didn’t really get an idea of their stets. But any how that’s how it goes sometimes. What I did get to see I liked though.
First up were Plymouth four piece indie band “The Native” Comprising of Charlie Noordewier, Ben Andrew, Tom Booth and Harry Youngs. These young guys really do seem to have what it takes to become a big big indie band. Tight and accomplished guitar driven tunes which belies their young years. From what I saw a really great warm up for what was about to come.
1.) Who We Are
2.) Call Me Out
3.) In My Mind
4.) All or Nothing
6.) Adore Me
Next up on the AO Arena stage was Buckinghamshire singer songwriter “Jack Garratt” looking all the part in his black sparkly jump suit. Bushy blond hair and beard Jacks vocals are sublime reaching breath-taking highs and tuneful lows throughout his set. Jack plays and alternates between Bass, Guitar and keyboards during his set just to prove how talented this guy is. From what I saw some great poppy disco esque tunes. Brilliant performance.
2.) Breathe Life
4.) Surprise Yourself
7.) Hands Go Up
Now the stage is set for “Bastille” to show us what they have. As soon as the lights dim the crowd cheer and the band come onto the stage straight into “Stay Awake” with Dan Smith standing high on a platform behind his band and in front of screen that will play a big part of tonight’s performance. The distinctive voice of Dan is instantly recognisable and sounds as good as ever.
On to the screen at the back of the band, It’s like a big futuristic corporation presentation screen. With the logo “Future Inc” always in the bottom right hand corner and in-between each song a spinning triangle with the words “Loading Next Experience” as if we were all immersed in some computer run gig of the future. The stage set it’s self was impressive and wouldn’t have looked out of place at lets say a Kraftwerk gig.
During some of the slower songs and in-between some of the tunes Dan rests on a futuristic looking Chaise Longue set right in the middle of the stage. Dan also tells the crowd that “its so nuts to be in a real arena and with real people at long last” This we have to agree with. During “Happier” Dan first stands on the photo press barrier singing to the crowds and then jumps over the barrier and walks right down the middle of the amazed crowd singing and waving to the fans, who were in turn loving this closeness to their hero.
This was a gig just for the fans and and boy how they were lapping it up. Every second was devoured by the fans who were absolutely loving it.
Stand out songs from the night for us would be “4AM” which inventively had all the mobile phone lights out which looked great in such a big arena. “Plug In” in which Dan uses a Vocoda, but in a great way, not just for a gimmick, it actually added to the complexity and tones of Dan’s voice. “Of The Night” before which Dan askes the crowd how many have been to a “Bastille” gig before and to the folk who put their hands up he tell them to watch the other fans “Who Know What To Do”. They do know what to instantly the beat picks up the crowd are jumping in unison, Yeah they knew what to do alright. Of course I can’t not mention “Pompeii” which the guys played last and all were singing in full voice “Ah-Oh-Ah-Oh” in the AO Arena (see what I did there)
The band came back on for a two song Encore of “Hope For The Future” and “Shut Off The Lights” together with the now mandatory confetti cannons going off.
Brilliant gig “Bastille” thanks for showing us “Giving Us The Future”
1/ Stay Awake?
2/ Distorted Light Beam
3/ Things We Lost in the Fire
4/ Laura Palmer
6/ Those Nights
7/ Quarter Past Midnight
8/ Back to the Future
9/ Plug In…
10/ What You Gonna Do??
12/ Good Grief
14/ Give Me the Future
16/ No Bad Days
18/ Run Into Trouble
19/ Of the Night
20/ Future Holds
22/ Hope for the Future
23/ Shut Off the Lights
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Warren is a live music and festival photographer based in Cheshire and covers gigs/festivals mostly in the North West of England. He has been photographing live music for over 10 years and has covered major artists and festivals