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Mace & Crown | November 25, 2017

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Bastille brings 'Wild World' to The NorVa

Bastille brings ‘Wild World’ to The NorVa

Lindsey Lanham | A&E Editor

There is something to be said about the peaceful feeling of an empty venue at the end of a concert. The floor, sticky with sweat and beer, the stage, void of any life, and the last of the fans buying merch at the stands. It’s quiet and empty, it was as if 20 minutes ago Bastille didn’t have the entire crowd singing along to “Pompeii.”

Before the emptiness of The NorVa settled in and the post-concert adrenaline wore off, Bastille took their final bow Sunday night. A long, but enjoyable set, Bastille earned their place as one of the best bands to grace The NorVa.

Bastille had a simple setup on stage, with just “BΔSTILLE” projected onto the brick wall as a backdrop, and two sculptures of people sitting on the balcony. The sculptures are assumed to be the two people on top of the building on the cover of Bastille’s “Wild World” album.

The encore included “Two Evils” off of the album. The song, done with only lead singer, Daniel Smith’s, voice and an electric guitar, showcased Smith’s vocal range. He sang the song on The NorVa’s balcony with fans as he looked down at the crowd.

Closing with “Pompeii,” Bastille’s hit song, a crowd favorite, brought a strong end to an already strong show. The band brought out opening band “Frenship,” to close with them, adding a nice intimate touch to the concert. It was even more enjoyable watching Smith jumping and dancing with the crowd, letting the crowd know how much fun he was having.

Though enjoyment was evident in Smith’s stage presence, the singer struggled with a sore throat and fatigue that was especially present towards the end of the show. For the first half of their set, he was down in the crowd, jumping and dancing, clearly having a great time. But then his movements got lazy, and when he had a terrible voice crack at the beginning of “Pompeii,” it took some audience encouragement to get him dancing again.

Currently, on tour in support of “Wild World,” which was released a little over a year ago, Bastille performed much of the album, but didn’t leave out any of the hits on “Bad Blood.” Their debut album was released back in 2013 but has held up well.

Some of the new songs they played included “Fake It,” “Glory” and, the hit single, “Good Grief.” No matter the song, the performance was fun and Smith gave it his all, making sure that the night was unforgettable.

Dan Smith of Bastille at The NorVa. Photo by Jamel Lewis.

Bastille didn’t just sing their own songs, though. What started with their cover of “Angels” by the XX, quickly turned into a remix of “No Scrubs” by TLC. In typical Bastille nature, the song was percussion heavy and intense, but the band pulled it off effortlessly.

“Laura Palmer” was another crowd pleaser. A reference to the famous ‘90s TV show, “Twin Peaks,” the song, though repetitive, has a nice tune and sound. Smith’s love of “Twin Peaks” has been made apparent in many ways, and the song is not the only way. Smith even said in an interview with Fresh 102.7 how excited he was that the show was getting renewed, claiming that David Lynch is his “ultimate rock star.”

There was no dull moment as Bastille played through their roughly 20 song setlist. Smith even made a point to introduce the song “Snakes.” He explained that it may be the cowardly thing to do, but sometimes when there’s a lot of bad news it’s better to go have a night out rather than deal with the news.

The night opened with “Send Them Off!” A fun, fast opener that started the night off right. And shortly after, Bastille played “Flaws,” where Smith got down in the crowd, working his way through the pit as he high-fived and serenaded different concert-goers.

Before Bastille came out, Frenship warmed the crowd up. An electro-indie duo from LA, the band performed for about 45 minutes, effectively getting the crowd warmed up for the main act.

Bastille brought their all to The NorVa Sunday night, and even though Smith started to slow down, he made sure that everyone left the show feeling entertained. A great band with an even greater performance, Bastille surely made their mark in Norfolk.