TVD Live: Bastille
and Joywave at the Greek, 10/12

PHOTOS: JULIA LOFSTRAND | In these troubling times Bastille’s music feels like an antidote. Their simple tales of love, heartache, joy, and doom resonate with people worldwide. And it makes sense. Daniel Smith, the group’s lead singer and songwriter, has an English language and literature degree, and is an adept storyteller. They are out on this current tour supporting the release of their latest album, Doom Days.

Openers Joywave, an indie synth pop quintet from Rochester, NY played their entire set in matching neon yellow shirts and Adidas sweatpants preparing for a few up-and-coming shows where they will headline. Opening for Bastille is no easy task. Not that there isn’t enough talent in the world because there is, it’s just that their originality is hard to match. Smith, known for his fascination with film (every Bastille album cover resembles a movie poster) brought stage production values to this tour. Songs were played to easily movable sets much like a Broadway show, each song having its own space to tell its story.

The new album, Doom Days, focuses on our planet’s undeniable nihilistic condition, a theme constant for Bastille. Smith told the crowd that while making the album, they set out to create something optimistic but invariably created something depressing. They opened with a “Quarter Past Midnight” the first song off of Doom Days, and played material from each of their three studio albums including “Of the Night”—a brilliant mashup cover of two 1990s dance classics: Snap!’s “Rhythm is a Dancer” and Corona’s “Rhythm of the Night.”

With the help of The Dawn of May, an artist signed to Best Laid Plans, Smith’s own record label, her moody and operatic voice added a dark dimension to the two songs she performed with them, “World Gone Mad” and “Doom Days.” If art is a reflection of reality, then the song “Doom Days” is our truth. Opting out of the traditional encore, Smith told the crowd that the to walk to the dressing room was much too far. They played straight through and closed the show with their hit “Pompeii, the song that rose them to fame.

This was one of the more engaged and joyous crowds I’ve seen. Yes, we all know that state of world isn’t ideal, but Bastille’s music is introspective yet optimistic—and that may be why so many connect with them.




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