24th April 2022

Bastille Live: A-O, A-O at the AO Arena

Even if you only know Bastille from their hit ‘Pompeii’, their new tour would make you dance like never before.
Bastille Live: A-O, A-O at the AO Arena
Photo: Ausrine Naujalyte @ The Mancunion

The English pop-rock band Bastille are best known for their 2013 hit ‘Pompeii’ and more recently for their collaboration with Marshmello on the track ‘Happier.’ In 2022 they released a new album titled Give Me The Future – a concept album about a dystopian future which plays a key role in their current tour. 

The whole show was structured to transport you into that scary future and to highlight that we are living in extremely similar times. In-between the songs, there is a loading screen telling you that the next experience is loading, highlighting lyrics of some of the songs. Sometimes it felt like the monitor from the show The Good Place, sometimes like a screen from a video game.

The stair-shaped stage was quite interesting, with colour-changing X’s being the most memorable part. During the song ‘Oblivion’, the vocalist Dan Smith was slouched on a couch and looked towards a stage light that resembled light from a TV screen – a great way to make a slow and emotional song more engaging. 

Another highlight was Dan Smith’s journey during ‘Happier.’ The vocalist went into the crowd in the middle and reached the other side of the AO arena. As you can imagine, this task while singing and going past fans took quite a long time but it was still very entertaining. At the very back, he went to the side of the arena and zoomed to the front with the speed of an F1 car.

The concert was very entertaining – Smith interacted a lot with the crowd by making jokes and sharing anecdotes. But he made the mistake of comparing the concert with the last stop on tour (London) which resulted in the audience booing. 

But of course, the main highlight was ‘Pompeii’, their best-known song and biggest hit. The crowd was excited for most of the songs, but nothing compared to the wave of dancing in the audience (including people in the seats too!) which rocked the AO arena when the intro to ‘Pompeii’ started playing.

Although some of the songs were quite pessimistic (according to one of Dan Smith’s interactions with the crowd, all of the Bastille songs are depressing but make you dance) it was a very fun evening. 

I attended a Bastille concert 5 years ago, when I was an even bigger fan of their music. When they performed some of their old songs it transported me back to my 16-year-old self and for that I am very grateful.  But it doesn’t take a seasoned Bastille fan to enjoy this show – their concert still makes a fantastic night out for many pop fans!

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