Review: Bastille is derivative but pleasant in Stage AE show
June 2, 2014 11:42 AM
Dan Smith of Bastille performs Sunday night in the Britpop band's Stage AE Outdoors concert.
A security guard at Stage AE hoses down a hot fan before the start of the Bastille concert Sunday on the North Side.
Dan Smith was in the spotlight for Bastille Sunday night.
A sold-out crowd watches Bastille perform Sunday night at Stage AE.
By Scott Mervis / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Bastille needed only one song to sell out Stage AE Outdoors and the band was wise to keep “Pompeii” in its pocket till the very last song.
There was zero trickle-out factor during the Britpop quartet’s 80-minute set Sunday night in what singer Dan Smith said he thought was “our biggest ever headlining show in the U.S.”
Led by its dancing, marching, fist-pumping frontman, Bastille is a good starter band for young fans, preferably teenage girls, filling the role of a Coldplay or Muse lite. Although Bastille has a penchant for fiery disaster imagery — “Pompeii” refers to a volcanic eruption and “Things We Lost in the Fire” is about a relationship down in the flames — the band has no shortage of “hey-oohs” and clap-along choruses over shimmering synth and peppy electronic beats.
Bastille blew through almost its entire “Bad Blood” debut quickly and added a few songs from the extended version, much of it blending together with the same sonic formula. It only slowed down to sound even more Chris Martin-ish on the falsetto ballads “Overjoyed” and “Oblivion,” delivered with an apology for being “depressing.”
The theatrical highlight was the singer donning a hoodie and taking the Rob Zombie run through the concourse to the thrill of the young girls screaming and chasing after him for photos. (Those are surprisingly hard to get with a cellphone, by the way.)
“Pompeii,” sounding like something from “The Lion King,” was as energetic as you’d expect, sending fans to the gates with a smile. For now, it’s Bastille’s only American hit, but that’s likely to change.
Scott Mervis: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-2576. Twitter: @scottmervis_pg.
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