A few weeks ago I had the privilege of attending one of the final shows of the Bastille tour in St. Augustine. I had looked up some of the footage of the show online and was curious as to how they were going to adapt their show to an amphitheater setting. One of the first things I was struck by was the videos they played on the screen behind the instruments while there was no one on stage. There was a newscaster that spent a lot of time talking to himself. This combined with the metal/mesh statues sitting above the stage resulted in a lot of Googling to find out exactly what the heck was happening.
I found one article that talked itself in circles. I read it twice while waiting for the opening band and I couldn't tell you what I read or what these things were meant to signify.
The opening band was Mondo Cozmo, of whom I had heard nothing. They were what I like to call a "stand up and take notice" band. From the first note I was hooked even though I had never heard any of their music before. They played mostly their own songs including Shine (vaguely Bob Dylan-esque), but it was their cover of Bittersweet Symphony that grabbed everyone's attention.
Once Bastille took the stage, the audience was intense. There were some diehard fans near me including one pre-teen who looked as though she might lose her mind. As with most bands, Bastille had a great deal of energy. One thing they did that I've not seen before? The lead singer went out into the middle of the pit which wasn't too uncommon. The majority of singers go out, pop around for a while, then get back on stage. Instead, he ran half way up the stairs and came right down through the middle of the amphitheater. He ended up on a platform about 20 feet behind my seat. He sang his song and then made his way back down. He did this multiple times, each time upping the performance by drumming or bringing the guitar player with him.
One of the most charming things for me was that there was nothing usual about this band. Most bands say thank you and then come back for an encore. Bastille just told us that they were going to take a quick break and come back and play us a couple of more songs before they'd be through. I found that to be more refreshing than what appears to be a standard encore functionality. I vaguely remember a time when the encore was not a guarantee. What can I say, I'm old.
If you're not familiar with either of these bands, I've posted some of their YouTube links below. Check them out!