Live, Bastille have always been a party. Bucket loads of enthusiasm, a genuine star at the helm and more bangers than you can shake a tower of plastic cups at, they come into focus onstage. Every festival they do feels likes a triumphant moment of release and celebration. It always goes off. Today at Rock Werchter is no different. But still, something’s changed.
There’s always been more to the band than carnivals in the dark. Telling stories, offering escape and refracting the world around them, their twisting art-pop has always had something to say for itself. Latest album ‘Doom Days’ is an apocalyptic rave record that finds reasons to rage, but persistently glitters with communal hope. Within that push and pull, Bastille twist together everything that is brilliant about them. And today’s set sees them shouting about it from the biggest of stages.
From the opening moments of Dan glued to his television, to the sudden eruption of colour, community and excitement that swiftly follows as ‘Quarter Past Midnight’ kicks in, their house party tumbles out into the field. From here on out, their set is a constantly evolving beast. The tracks from ‘Doom Days’ are more than festival ready, full of bold colours and charming grit while the older songs are embraced like old friends.
Charged with energy, joined by friends and welcoming in everyone before them, Bastille find a warmth in the darkness. They champion togetherness. And as the sun sets behind them, the band leave the festival a brighter place than they found it.
Words: Ali Shutler