Bastille, a more than reassuring concert at Pleyel

Bastille, a more than reassuring concert at Pleyel

Bastille was back in the French capital to defend a lackluster album: Give Me The Future.

The first part is provided by The Natives. Young indie rock band we told you about recently here. The 5 members of the group seem very comfortable for their first visit to Paris, as does the public, which seems receptive. The musical style is classic and a bit repetitive but effective, like the indie new wave (The Clause, Luna Bay, lostboy…). The band does not hesitate to share its impressions of Paris: “Today was our fist day in Paris, I didn’t expect the Eiffel Tower to be so fucking big”. In view of their mastery on stage, it is difficult to say that they still have not released an album to date, it will be necessary to console themselves with their first three EPs.

9:05 p.m., the time to enjoy the Bastille show has finally arrived. As a reminder, the group’s trajectory is quite symptomatic with a meteoric rise that struggles to find its second wind on the last two albums. Not helped by a last European tour (2018-2019) which was apathetic resulting in a reduction in the gauge of the room. Moving from the Zénith de Paris (6,800 seats) to the Salle Pleyel (2,500 seats) in 2022 inevitably causing a form of concern. But we want to believe in a good surprise!

A short video introduction highlights the futuristic universe with the fictional company Future Inc, at the heart of the latest concept album. Different visuals and videos will punctuate the entire show, echoing this concept. Dan Smith suddenly appears, on a raised platform at the back of the stage, and the concert begins timidly with Stay Awake. The track has real potential but never really takes off, like the studio version. On stage a chorister is added to the formation, her contribution is limited and she has trouble finding her place on the whole show. In Smith, for his part, seems to be over-motivated and paces the stage up and down, sketching words in French despite his “bad accent”.

The successive sequence of tubes: Distorted Light Beam, Things We Lost in the Fire and Laura Palmer definitely warms up the evening. The scenography is very successful: sofa in the foreground, part of the raised group in the second, a raised platform in the 3rd and the screen in the background. The sofa/seat will be used in particular for playing oblivion in a successful atmosphere with flickering side lighting.

The other great satisfactions come from Plug In… whose live version is amazing just like WHAT YOU GONNA DO??? which is the rockiest track on stage. The very active guitarist throughout the concert will even share the microphone with Dan in the manner of the Libertines. happy is played with Dan in the middle of the pit instead of the usual Flaws which is interpreted in an acoustic version of the most successful! The other track played acoustically is Future Holds with the following particularity: the drummer plays the guitar! The rendering is very successful and is even better than the original. It is necessary to underline the quality of the sound on the whole of the concert which was excellent, as often in Pleyel. At the price of the places it is not negligible.

The atmosphere is very good in the group which seems to be happy to play together. Dan does not hesitate to encourage the bassist to express himself in French. He will also be ironic about the paradox between the joyful atmosphere of their title which contrasts with their texts “terribly depressing but cheesy”. The only real lows of the concert come from certain titles which are a notch below in the last two albums. Those Night, Bad Days, Revolution provoke few reactions and lack scale. Besides, we can see that on all the new songs the drummer is relegated to an electric battery which is sorely lacking in relief and depth. Hard to understand the objective sought and under these conditions: Those Night, Revolution and Bad Days cause little reaction in the crowd.

Fortunately the sure values Pompeii and Off the Night give a boost of energy for the end of the set. In short, it’s a successful concert for Bastille which manages to combine a good staging and above all many hits!

Track list

  1. Stay Awake?
  2. Distorted Light Beam
  3. Things We Lost in the Fire
  4. Laura Palmer
  5. oblivion
  6. Those Nights
  7. Quarter Past Midnight
  8. Back to the Future
  9. Plug In…
  11. survived
  12. Good Grief Promises
  13. Revolution
  14. Flaws (Acoustic)
  15. no bad days
  16. happy
  17. Future Holds
  18. Of the Night
  19. Pompeii
  20. Hope for the Future
  21. Shut Off the Lights

Bastille, a more than reassuring concert at Pleyel