When one hears Bastille one can think of many things; historical scenes come to mind, French artwork perhaps. As I was gearing up last night, I was thinking of Bastille as I typed in “the Palace” for directions on my phone. It truly felt like a summer night as I was cruising down the highway through the twin cities towards the eastern side of things, St. Paul. The Palace Theatre is an awesome venue and I was getting the chance to visit yet again with Bastille in mind as well as opening act Josh Fudge.
I got into the palace as Fudge was just starting to jam out. If I can say anything about their sound – it’s funky arcade music in the grooviest way possible, with stellar, soothing vocals overtop. Josh Fudge has a very elegant stage presence, with a very friendly presence that makes the crowd feel extremely connected to the artist as they jam out with their band. This 19-year-old is something else, with ear-catching hits like “FEEL LIKE” that just won’t get out of my head. More than their music and performance can show, another awesome thing I caught from Josh was how friendly and open he was to fans after his set wrapped up. I was hanging out by the bar checking my phone as I watched Josh engage every fan with a huge smile as he sold merchandise; “down to earth” would be putting it lightly.
A popular act ever since I can remember, Bastille really shook things up initially back in 2013 with their hit “Pompeii” and since then many others have unfolded, with my personal favorite being “Shut Off The Lights.” Their most recent album (and tour piece) – Give Me The Future came out just this spring and was the main piece of their set, but they didn’t hold back from throwing in some of our classic favorites here already mentioned, and not to forget – “Happier.” The entire show was a blast, and they had me sold as soon as they played “Things We Lost In The Fire.” On top of the hits played, cool things that stood out were how the stage was set up; It was a tiered setting, with each pair of instruments on their own level of the stage (almost like how SNL has it set up but a bit more compact) as the frontman/lead singer Dan Smith danced and sang around the stage. The entire stage was themed after some type of sci-fi, post-modern era type design with intermission videos adding to the ambiance. It was simply more than just a musical experience.
Whether or not you were a fan of the music, you can’t deny that this show overall was exciting and unique; As a big fan of Bastille, I knew they couldn’t go wrong – but that is how they proved me wrong, yet again, by wowing me with their energy and enthusiasm on stage. The dedicated and passionate fans also made the night all the more enjoyable in downtown St. Paul.
Don’t miss these acts the next time they’re in town!