• Christine

Bastille Kicks Off Their Doom Days Tour, Part 1 in Philadelphia!

Updated: Mar 21

The first time I saw Bastille live was at the Liacouras Center on Temple’s campus in October of 2014. At the time, their first big hit song “Pompeii” seemed to be on the radio every time you turned it on.


Almost 5 years later, I’m off to see Bastille for the fourth time. This time, Bastille is down the street from Temple at a much fancier and bigger venue – The Met. In addition, they are kicking off their Doom Days tour in support of their third album.

Bastille

The view from behind the soundboard before the show at The Met.

I love to see Bastille live, and it’s not because I love their music. I find their music catchy and I enjoy it, but I wouldn’t put them on a list of my favorite bands. However, there are not many bands that have a front man as energetic as Bastille’s front man – Dan Smith.


So now that Smith is a few years older, does he still have that raw energy? And how would that come across in a more “upscale” venue like The Met? Keep reading to find out.


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THE VENUE

I’ve now been to several shows at The Met in Philadelphia. According to their FB page, this Bastille show was their 100th show since opening last year. This show was my first time sitting at the orchestra level, so I was interested to compare the site lines and sound from where I normally sit on the mezzanine level.

The Met

Unfortunately, we had a big pole blocking our view of the stage. Even without the pole, I prefer the view and sound from the mezzanine level.

For tips going to see a show at The Met, check out my post here.


THE SHOW


JOYWAVE


ABOUT THE ARTIST

Joywave is an indie band based out of Rochester, NY. The band is made up of Daniel Armbruster (vocals), Joseph Morinelli (guitar), Kevin Mahoney (bass), Benjamin Bailey (keyboards) and Paul Brenner (drums).


The band formed in 2010 and released their first EP – Koda Vista – in 2012. Armbruster was originally a member of the band Big Data and wrote the song “Dangerous”. In 2014, the song was recorded featuring Armbruster on vocals and was released as Big Data featuring Joywave.


The band followed up the success of “Dangerous” with their own EP in 2014 – How Do You Feel? The EP featured two songs – “Tongues” and “Somebody New” – which got quite a bit of radio play. They followed up the EP with their first full-length album – How Do You Feel Now?


In July of 2017, Joywave released their second album – Content. The band has recorded their third album – Possession – and will be releasing it soon.


THE PERFORMANCE

Joywave took the stage just after 7:45 p.m. The band was dressed in some sort of flourescent shirts that may them look a bit like construction workers.

Joywave

Joywave’s choice of clothing was pretty interesting.

Joywave might not be the best band I’ve ever heard live, but they definitely have a lot of enthusiasm. Armbruster is a great front man. He’s super witty! When he first addressed the crowd, he said “Welcome future Joywave fans!” Armbruster told the crowd that they had played Philly many times and weren’t famous yet, so they planned to change that tonight.

Included in their set was a song called “Blank Slate”, which they had never played live before. Armbruster said that they had structured their set for latecomers, so they were going to play their three hits at the end of the show – “Tongues”, “Destruction” and “It’s a Trip”.


Joywave wrapped up their set by letting everyone know that their new album will be out in March, and they are planning a headlining tour in the spring which will include Philly as a stop. The last song of their set was “Obsession”, which is the first single off of that new album.


Joywave is currently on the road with Bastille on their North America tour. You can see all of the upcoming tour dates on their website.


Set List (click on any title to purchase the song on Amazon): Like A Kennedy, Somebody New, Blank Slate, Blast Off, Content, ???, Traveling At The Speed Of Light, Tongues, Destruction, It’s A Trip, Obsession


BASTILLE


ABOUT THE ARTIST

To learn more about Bastille, check out my post about their 2017 show here.


Bastille released their third studio album – Doom Days – in June of this year.


THE SHOW

Bastille took the stage around 9 p.m. There were definitely pluses and minuses to the show.

First for the positives. My biggest takeaway is how much this band has matured. Having a third album out with more original material made a big difference. When we first saw them in 2014, they played for about an hour and played several covers. This time, they played for a full 90 minutes and only did their standard “Of The Night” mash-up cover.


Their maturity also came through in the show itself. This was a production – not just Smith jumping up and down on stage and singing. There was a theme to the show, along with video and special effects.

Bastille

The show was a real production with a story line throughout.

Now for the negatives. Smith seems to be plagued with technical problems during shows. It happened when we saw them in 2017, and it happened again during this show. His microphone kept going out. Bastille even had to restart “Bad Decisions” because of the microphone problems.

Bastille

When Smith’s microphone was working correctly, his voice sounded great at the beginning of the show.

I’m not sure if the microphone issues led to Smith trying to overcompensate with his voice, but his voice was shot by the end of the show. Even during “Warmth”, which was mid-show, you can hear him struggling.


By the time Bastille wrapped up the show with their huge hit “Pompeii”, Smith’s voice was totally gone. Drummer Chris Wood explained to the crowd that Smith had lost his voice, and asked everyone to help Bastille out on the song. The crowd willingly did and Smith struggled through, but it was really difficult to watch what should have been a big ending to a great show.


Even with the technical difficulties, Bastille put on a great show. Smith was his usual ball of energy, doing his “goofy” dance and running up and down the stage. The stage set up included a disk that rotated. Smith used it throughout the show – sometimes almost appearing like he was walking on a treadmill and sometimes just spinning around on it.

Bastille

Smith utilized the rotating disk throughout the show.

Smith also came down off the stage during “Flaws” and walked through the crowd. I’ve seen him do this at every show, and it’s definitely a thrill for every Bastille fan that gets close to him.

Bastille

So close! Smith almost made it all the way back to where we were sitting, but not quite.

This was the first time I had been to a show at The Met with a general admission “pit” section. The Bastille fans were definitely more lively than some of the other shows I’ve seen there, and most fans stood and danced and sang throughout the set.

Bastille

Bastille got the crowd jumping during “Rhythm of the Night”.

In some threads I’ve seen on a Bastille FB fan page, it looks like technical issues tend to be commonplace for a Bastille show. I really hope they can work out the kinks, Smith can get back his voice, and they have a successful North America tour!

Bastille

Smith was visibly upset during the show over the technical difficulties and his voice problems. He didn’t even stick around to take a bow.

Bastille has just kicked off their North American tour supporting the album Doom Days. You can see upcoming tour dates on their website.


Set List (click on any title to purchase the song on Amazon): Quarter Past Midnight, Send Them Off, Things We Lost In The Fire, Another Place, The Waves, Two Evils, Happier, Bad Decisions, Warmth, Flaws, Those Nights, Doom Days, Blame, Joy, Laura Palmer, Of The Night Encore: Pompeii


Have you seen Bastille before? Did Dan Smith have technical difficulties during your show too? Let us know! Comment below or e-mail me at tips2livebywriter@gmail.com.


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#Bastille #Joywave #Philadelphia #TheMet

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