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Concert Reviews:
Bastille storms Royal Oak with energetic performance

21st Century Media/Digital First Media, @GraffonMu

Posted: Monday, January 20, 2014

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ROYAL OAK -- Bastille is technically a one-hit wonder at this point, at least on these shores.

But that won't last long if Sunday's, Jan. 20, concert at the Royal Oak Music Theatre is any indication.

The keyboard-dominated British modern rock quartet opened its 2014 touring slate before a packed house of 1,700 -- indicating that one hit, the show-closing "Pompeii," has effectively lured a devoted and exuberant (at least for the moment) fan base that's clearly delved into Bastille's catalog one album, "Bad Blood," and a couple of mix tapes. That's been enough for the group to log six chart singles in its homeland, and the youthful Royal Oak crowd was clearly -- and enthusiastically -- familiar with fare such as "Things We Lost in the Fire," "Laura Palmer, "Flaws" and even deeper tracks like "Weight of the Living Pt. II" and "Icarus" that were part of Bastille's 16-song, 75-minute set on Sunday.

Playing on a clean, spare stage set, the group came out strong with "Bad Blood's" title track and performed 11 of the debut album's 12 songs ("Oblivion" was the odd tune out) during its set. Dan Smith proved an engaging frontman, quickly peeling off his hoodie to spend most of the night in a black T-shirt, whipping around the stage and, during "Flaws," taking a long trip through the audience -- with a plugged-in rather than wireless microphone, meaning crew and security had to work hard to keep the cord aloft over the fans' heads.

Bastille filled out the set with a cover of City High's "What Would You Do?" as well as the as-yet-unreleased thumper "Blame" and "The Draw" and "Of the Night" from the expanded "All This Bad Blood" collection -- with Smith leading the crowd through some choreographed jumping during the latter. It was a strong first shot for the burgeoning band, and likely the beginning of Bastille storming the charts and concert stages for quite some time.

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