Photography and Review by Chuck Stanley
Monday night, outside of San Antonio’s Majestic Theatre, it was cold, windy and every bit the November rain cliche. Inside the historic theater was different. Bastille’s upbeat, feel-good sound kept the nearly sold-out crowd dancing and singing like it was Saturday night.
Despite Bastille’s lack of radio presence in San Antonio and Austin, Monday’s female-dominated attendees packed the Majestic Theater and screamed their approval for the 22-song setlist. The night began with the lead single “Good Grief,” from the band’s sophomore effort “Wild World”. The Grammy-nominated band also treated fans to favorites like “Icarus,” the Craig David collaboration “I Know You, “ and this year’s clap along hit “Happier” featuring US producer Marshmello.
Bastille founder and vocalist Dan Smith decided the stage was too confining for “Two Evils,” so he found his way to the upper-level balcony box for the entire song. You can deduce Smith was a fan of the Majestic Theater as he claimed it was, “One of the poshest theaters they’ve played”. Just before the encore, the BRIT Award-winning vocalist decided to explore the entire theater top to bottom, left to right, much to the delight of adoring fans during “Flaws”.
Backed by drummer Chris Wood, bassist/guitarist Will Farquarson, Keyboardist Kyle Simmons and multi-instrumentalist touring member Charlie Barnes, Dan Smith kept the between-song banter to a minimum, only saying a few short phrases to presumably allow the band to catch their breath before launching into another well-played song.
Not only were fans were graced with a tight, dynamic and harmonizing band that has sold millions of albums worldwide, they were treated to an epileptic seizure-inducing light show worthy of a football stadium. The light show accompanying the bands every beat was just as much part of the concert as the men on stage. Maybe the lighting guy loves Las Vegas or EDM festivals or Japanese anime or Sci-Fi movie hypnotism, nonetheless, he deserves a lighting design award and the audience deserves protective glasses.
Some rock concert cliches are never meant to be altered and Bastille did not allow that to happen with its first post-encore song “Oblivion,” which saw the audience whip out their modern-day lighters/cell phones for this piano-driven track. Followed by Bastille’s 3rd #1 single “Quarter Past Midnight” and the multi-chart topping mega-hit finale “Pompeii,” fans may have been so pumped with enthusiasm, they may have forgotten it was a cold, rainy November Monday in San Antonio.