Photos by Janine Van Oostrom.
As a band gets bigger it is natural that so do their gigs. If a band is one of the lucky ones they will eventually evolve from clubs to arenas; instead of playing to 1000 people they now find themselves playing to 25,000. So while arena shows being their own things to the table, such a greater productions, you also tend to lose a lot of the connection between the band and the crowd. There is something about club shows that is magical, maybe it’s the intimacy or maybe it’s the sheer amount of bodies packed into a small room. Either way club shows really are the best and it’s rare when you get to see a huge band play one. That’s why it was such a big deal that on the night of October 5th, Bastille would be playing the Danforth Music Hall, a hall with a mere capacity of 1,500. Let’s put it this way, when Bastille comes back in March they will be playing the Air Canada Center, which has a capacity of 19,800. So yeah seeing Bastille at the Danforth is kind of a big deal.
So why would one of the biggest bands in the world be playing such a small show? Well it’s all part of the ‘Born to Be Wild World Tour’, a mini tour with only 7 dates at other similar sized clubs around North America. With the release of their second LP “Wild World” this tour is kind of like a little dose of nostalgia where Bastille is going back and playing some of the first venues they ever played in North America. So naturally the show was kicked off with the lead single from Wild World, “Good Grief”. From there on they played the entire tracklist of the album in order including some of it’s other hits like “Blame” “Send Them Off!” and “Snakes”. They then finished off their set with three of their oldest hits “Flaws”, “Bad Blood”, and of course “Pompeii”.
The lead singer, Dan Smith, never ceases to amaze any crowd he plays for. Whether it be with his always stellar vocals or his exuberant jumps and dance moves he knows how to keep a crowd entertained. Even more so in a small venue where it is much easier to interact with the fans, so when Smith tells the crowd to jump all feet leave the floor. Smith was equipped not only with a microphone but also his own keyboard and drum kit which even further added to Smith’s theatrics. While watching Bastille it is obvious that they are a band who are used to entertaining crowds of tens of thousands of people at once; they are so captivating that it’s almost hard to take your eyes off of them. Everywhere you looked in the room people of all ages were completely awestruck by the band in front of them.
This tour was kind of like a dry run for the “Wild Wild World Tour” which will be kicked off at the ACC on March 24th, 2017; a chance for Bastille to play their new songs in front of smaller crowds and deliver a once and a lifetime opportunity to fans in a select few cities. So thank you Bastille for bringing a taste of the Wild World into Toronto, we can’t wait to see what’s in store for March.