Music & Nightlife

Bastille takes a cinematic journey on stage and across the U.S.

Bastille performs at Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre on Saturday night.
Bastille performs at Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre on Saturday night.

If critics describe breakout UK alt-rock band Bastille as cinematic, it’s not only a fitting description, it’s exactly how founder Dan Smith imagines his band’s songs.

“A lot of our songs feel to me like self-contained moments or stories or scenes,” he says on the phone from Vancouver. “We did these mix tapes before we made our record that were a weird mix of scoring, film music and mash-ups of other artists’ songs. We imagined they were soundtracks for films that didn’t exist.”

When it came time to put together a live show following the September 2016 release of its sophomore album, “Wild World,” the group wanted a cohesive thread that would help make the new tour its own unique animal as opposed to the endless touring it did behind its first album. The “Wild Wild World Tour” wraps soon, with Saturday’s show at Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheater one of its last before returning to London.

“We wanted a fitting accompaniment to the record, to take some of those scenes and push them and tell a bit of a story, with visuals that nod toward things we were thinking about during the recording of the record,” Smith explains. “We wanted to tie the music from our first and second record and mix tapes and make a show that felt relevant to now.”

While Bastille plays “Pompeii,” “Laura Palmer,” “Good Grief,” and “Fake It,” the accompanying visuals take a look “at the world through news and news media, but at the same time are optimistic and hopeful.”

Although “Wild World” is not an overtly political album, tracks like “The Currents” address how polite society is becoming a thing of the past when sharing outrageous opinions and dehumanizing private thoughts publicly is accepted.

The last year touring has given the band time to appreciate the landscape while soaking up American culture and history.

“On previous tours, we haven’t had much chance to see stuff. This time we’ve had more time to spend days off exploring America, going to museums, visiting NASA, going to the Grand Canyon. It’s been really amazing,” he says.

“For us being from London and to look out and see palm trees and sunsets is an amazing experience,” Smith says, two weeks after playing the Coachella Festival in Indio, Calif.

Speaking of Coachella, he says the only downside to the experience was the heat, which isn’t common at European festivals.

“In the UK, bad weather is torrential rain whereas at Coachella bad weather is being a bit too hot and having a dusty sandstorm,” he says. “For us pasty brits, we’re less worried about getting rained on, and more worried about getting sunburned.”

Following the tour, it’s back to working on new music, he says, and awaiting the premiere of David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks” continuation next month. Bastille’s first album was heavily inspired by Lynch and included the song, “Laura Palmer.”

“When it came out, it was really pioneering and it rippled through television,” says Smith, who would love to score films. “It was dark at the time, but it was television, so it could only be so dark. It’ll be interesting to see how it fits into TV now that TV has snuck up and become this space where you can tell an amazing story in 10 hours.”


When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

Where: Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheater, 1000 NC Music Factory Blvd.

Tickets: $25.

Details: 704-549-1292;