By Rami Abou-Sabe
Bastille debuted their Wild World tour at Agganis Arena in Boston Monday night (Mar. 27). The five-piece delivered nearly an hour and a half of high energy pop-rock, making the sparsely filled Boston University arena feel much more packed than it was.
Singer Dan Smith and co. treated adoring fans to a set-list filled with tracks from debut Bad Blood. Saving smash hit “Pompeii” for the encore held the crowd’s attention through lesser known numbers off the group’s followup Wild World. Part Fitz and the Tantrums, part Coldplay, Bastille’s brand of pop-rock isn’t particularly innovative, but damn if it’s not fun to watch.
Despite technical difficulties (Smith spent much of the performance motioning the sound crew to fix his in-ear-monitor, before pulling it out entirely) the singer impressed with one of the most powerful voices in the industry. Smith displayed an endless supply of stage-bounding energy – often traversing out into the crowd to perform from various sections of the arena, groped and grabbed by throngs of teen girls in the process.
Guitarist/bassist Will Farquarson and Kyle Simmons on keyboards fleshed out the sound, with drummer Chris “Woody” Wood delivering the click-track backbone. Rounding out the crew is multi-instrumentalist Charlie Barnes, whose stage right dance moves could rival Katy Perry’s left shark.
Perhaps the most impressive moment of the night came when Bastille dropped all notions of being a pop act as they let Farquarson solo over an extended fuzzed-out jam, channeling 90s grunge and 80s hair-metal simultaneously.
Other highlights included the group’s emotional “Oblivion,” Smith’s in-crowd “Of The Night” performance, and the foot-stomping “Pompeii” finale.
Bastille continue headlining their first U.S. arena tour through May.