Friday, September 20, 2013

Bastille at The Great American Music Hall in San Francisco – A Concert Review

     We were able to see Bastille again last night (September 19, 2013). It could not have gone much better – the band was engaging, the sound system was more than adequate, and the audience was knowledgeable about and respectful of the band.

     Unlike the first opportunity to attend a Bastille concert, Dan Smith was not struggling with damage done to his voice during a festival performance. His voice was able to meet the demands of the Bastille setlist. Nevertheless, it is not easy to state which of the two performances was more entertaining for those in attendance. Sure, the vocals in the show last night were superior. And yes, the setlist was longer. But the July 22nd show at Rickshaw Stop provided much better insights into the personalities of the four members (Chris 'Woody' Wood, Kyle Simmons and Will Farquarson are the other three). As we noted in the review of the July performance (accessible by CLICKING HERE), we are impressed by how genuine these guys are. Moreover, it wasn’t a situation of Smith not being able to sing at the Rickshaw Stop; he just didn’t sing with the same force. Recently, we read an article in which the author argued that it’s the songwriting that “separates the wheat from the chaff,” i.e., separates the successful bands from the many who are trying to experience success. While that position is an overstatement, there is a degree of accuracy, which is one of the reasons the Rickshaw Stop was solid.
Dan Smith passing through

    One of the highlights was Dan Smith passing through the audience. We tried to get a good picture as he went by, but there was too much motion and commotion to get the job done. And his hoodie-up approach didn't help. Such is life.

"Catman" Kyle at the Isle of Wight
In the U.K., Bastille has achieved the notoriety it desires. The album “Bad Blood” did reach the top of the charts. Singles have had commercial success in the U.K. It’s time for the United States’ market to take notice.
This week, Bastille was the musical guest on Jimmy Kimmel. Kyle Simmons seems to only have shirts that feature cats (the shirt he wore for the Isle of Wight Festival was littered with them). But he otherwise seems to be a trustworthy guy.

     Our best recollection of the setlist last night (90% level of confidence) is:
1. Bad Blood
2. Things We Lost in the Fire
3. Overjoyed
4. The Silence
5. What Would You Do? (City High cover)
6. Oblivion
7. Haunt
8. Weight of Living, Pt. II
9. These Streets
10. Laura Palmer
11. Icarus
12. Flaws
13. Get Home
14. Of the Night
15. Pompeii

Other pictures from last night:

Little Daylight - who also opened for Bastille at Rickshaw Stop
Nightmare & the Cat - the first band to perform

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