SXSW Review: Bastille, March 14, Cedar Courtyard


If there was anything to be learned from England band Bastille‘s forty minute set at Cedar Courtyard, it is this: they need a bigger stage.

First off, their debut record Bad Blood, which sounds great on record, sounds equally great live. Utilizing duo synthesizer setups (+ bass/drums), you would think that they sound like one of the many electro-pop acts to have come out recently, instead their ability to craft immediately dramatic and easy to digest songs has catapulted them to the front of pack in terms of new bands from overseas (Bad Blood hit number one on the charts). Take the track Things We Lost in the Fire for example, a slow piano starts off the track before the group launches in a chorus that you will have memorized by the 30 second mark. The sound then slowly builds up into an anthemic climax. I can already see the crowds singing out to this in unison at a festival this summer. Other songs like Icarus and Pompeii also sound like big singles. If the crowd response to these tracks at Cedar was any indication, it might just come to fruition in upcoming months.


Second, Bastille needs a larger stage because lead singer Dan Smith likes to wander. The dude went everywhere. Perhaps energized by the enthusiastic crowd, he explored the stage like a monkey in a cage. He went up the stairs to the second level, went around the drum kit, went into the crowd and climbed a shaky looking scaffolding to the second floor, to which I told a fellow bystander that this might also be the last Bastille show.


Luckily, it wasn’t.

Check them out if you get the chance. One of my highlights in Austin.

Posted on by Ricky in South By Southwest

About Ricky

Britpop lovin Chinaman, consumer of all things irrelevant. Toronto Raptors fan.