Bastille make headline debut in Milwaukee

A first for the London-based pop-tronica act, Bastille made their way to Milwaukee, Wisconsin for a Pabst/Riverside show with a slight upgrade.

Bigger, more popular Pabst Theater Foundation shows are usually pushed off to the newly built BMO Harris Pavilion on the Summerfest grounds, but being late October might’ve proved to be a bit chilly for the occasion. A first for the foundation, the Milwaukee Theater will host Bastille in the vast multi-level venue often reserved for other non-live music functions.

The announcement for Milwaukee Theater was rather surprising for a venue heavily underused compared to other historic music locations around the city such as The Eagles Ballroom, Pabst and Riverside Theaters, and Turner Hall Ballroom.

Bastille’s debut studio album Bad Blood surely made some waves for the band early on. Riding smash hits “Pompeii” and “Bad Blood” to initial success, Bastille has grown Bad Blood into one of the top selling albums of 2013.

Anxious for the electro-pop powerhouse, fans lined up around the block waiting for doors to open well before the scheduled showtime. Shows like this are where openers benefit most. This kind of crowd can get into a supporting act – the same can’t be said for other genres of music.

Bastille’s special guest, Grizfolk, was received nicely in Milwaukee and gave us a different taste of the alternative world. Oriented away from the electronic side of Bastille, Grizfolk’s style was a nice warmup to Bastille. I personally enjoyed one of their catchier hits “The Struggle” and “Vagabonds”. They even ventured on to play a cover of David Bowie’s “Suffragette City” later in their set.

Bastille found themselves in front of a near-full house by the time Grizfolk wrapped. Their energy reminds me of Timeflies and something comparable to Imagine Dragons. Vocalist Dan Smith is very outgoing and playful with fans especially with songs that get the crowd going. Wasting no time, “Bad Blood” hit the setlist early on.

Over and over Dan Smith found himself competing with fans covering his vocals, only fanning the flames of the atmosphere. It was rather tame all around though. A GA pit was allowed in the front, but for the most part fans were confined to their seats where they could be seen dancing or more so nodding along.
















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