Not only is this a new entry in our Commonwealth Connections series, but it’s our first post by a guest writer!  Martina Keogan brings us her recap of British band Bastille’s recent performance in Philadelphia.

Energetic and appreciative, British alt band Bastille recently took the stage at the eclectic Fillmore Theater in Philadelphia on the final headlining stop of their 2017 Wild Wild World Tour. From the last song by opening band FRENSHIP, when the four members of Bastille appeared onstage, frontman Dan Smith carried on the shoulders of drummer Chris ‘Woody’ Wood, and joined in to the delight of the crowd, it was clear that it was going to be a electric night.

Bastille opened with “Send Them Off!,” a dynamic and danceable song from their sophomore album “Wild Wild World” which was released in 2016. Playing for 90 minutes, they engaged the crowd, many of whom, like me, were dancing and swaying along to the music. The crowd enthusiastically sang along with their most well-known songs such as “Good Grief” and “Blame” and eagerly complied when prompted to clap their hands, wave their arms, and jump.

Throughout the evening, Dan expressed his sincere gratitude at the audience’s passionate response and for selling out the 2,500 person venue, a 125-year-old industrial building in the city’s Fishtown section. With dazzling chandeliers and two neon painted bars in the main room , the Fillmore is much more than just a converted factory. There’s also an adjacent lounge area and balconies on the mezzanine, with several rows of seating for those willing to upgrade, which offer a fantastic view of the stage and the audience below.

A few songs into the concert, Dan walked among the crowd of the standing room only floor and, later, surprised the audience in the side balcony by appearing there and singing the entire song Two Evils from that spot (much to the chagrin of this concertgoer who was directly below the balcony and missed that entire performance, visually at least). The band played 19 songs including many favorites from their first studio album, “Bad Blood,” released in 2013, such as the title track, “Icarus,” and “Oblivion.” Apparently there were some issues with sound mixing because Dan repeatedly gestured to someone offstage during several of his songs. However, any flaws in sound were not apparent to this listener. Like most alt bands, their live sound was authentic and true.

Bastille ended the night playing their popular anthem “Pompeii.” They were joined onstage by FRENSHIP, who had been touring with them for 4 shows, for a rousing finale.

Bastille Set List

1. Send Them Off!
2. Laura Palmer
3. Overjoyed
4. Warmth
5. Flaws
6. Snakes
7. The Draw
8. Good Grief
9. bad_news
10. Of the Night
11. Bad Blood
12. The Currents
13. Oblivion
14. Blame
15. Icarus
16. Fake It
17. Two Evils
18. Things We Lost in the Fire
19. Pompeii (with Frenship)

~ Martina Keogan, Speaking of Art

Visit Bastille’s website.