Bastille at the O2 Arena
Bastille, the UK techno, indie and rock band which rose to fame in 2013 with their hit song Pompeii, are back at the O2 for the first time in six years, promoting their new album Give Me the Future. This performance is a dancey homage to existential dread, which is as uplifting and fun as it is a reminder of the shared unnerving feeling many of us are currently experiencing – that our world is becoming a sci-fi film and we just want someone to say it’ll be alright.
The O2 is a massive arena, featuring sky-high seating surrounding an enormous mass of people, which is reminiscent of the opening sequence of Netflix’s zombie series We Are All Dead. The stage has multiple layers, sometimes covered in a lighting effect which looks like futuristic flying crosses.
Short film clips of a make-believe Future Inc. Corporation – which features on the album – play on a rectangular screen in the background. The imagery has a “day after tomorrow” vibe, because whilst it is visually very sci-fi, it doesn’t even feel that far away. The video footage is impressive, artistic and well-timed, and the lighting complements it well.
Dan Smith, the lead singer of Bastille, has an infectious, energetic yet endearingly humble energy. His strong, distinctive voice is as powerful in person as it is on Spotify and it’s a joy to watch him move around the stage. The song Plug In… (which should become the official anthem of the 2020s) is a euphoric moment of shared fear between the audience and the band. There is a feeling of relief that someone on a (literal) massive platform is voicing these fears.
We’re living in a sci-fi fantasy
I’m sleeping with the robot next to me
Find planet B, that’s all we need
So we can have fun
Tell me we’ll be alright
Say that we’ll be fine
Lie to me, it’s alright, right?
Say that we’ll be fine
The subject matter may be disorientating, but there is such a feeling of positive energy at tonight’s show. This is especially true during Pompeii. This song, whilst written almost 10 years ago, personally felt like the soundtrack to lockdown, about a natural disaster that changed our lives and the hope of a world where we can look around and feel like nothing changed at all. That’s what it feels like to be here at Bastille’s O2 performance, watching everyone dance and sing close together, as if the last two years had never happened, and we are where we’re meant to be again.
Photos: Virginie Viche
For further information and future events visit Bastille’s website here.
Watch the video for the single Plug In…here: