The last time I went to a concert was in February to see Imagine Dragons and it took me nearly two weeks to write about it on my blog. I didn’t want to have that kind of delay for this gig so as I am home in Aberdeen for a week, relaxing, I can take the time to write about my experience when it is still fresh in my mind.
On Wednesday (11th of April 2018) I went to the Usher Hall in Edinburgh to see Bastille on their ‘Reorchestrated,’ Tour. It was incredible and one of my favourite concerts that I’ve been to recently. We were seated in the Grand Circle on the (stage) right and had a really great view of the stage and the venue itself. I’m thankful we weren’t standing because it looked so busy down there and I probably would have just been staring at shoulders all night, as at the SSE Hydro.
The Usher Hall itself is a gorgeous venue. I love all the intricate, gold detailing that was on the balconies and ceiling and it reminded me of His Majesty’s Theatre in Aberdeen, just on a grander scale. I was mesmerized by the staircase outside the main space as I love the optical illusion look the spiral had. This is the only photo I took at the Usher Hall as I turned my phone off for a change to focus on the musicians and enjoy the concert.
The first support act was a man called Charlie Barnes. He was a solo artist and accompanied his voice with piano or guitar, depending on the song. I’m a bit obsessed with the way he sings (he’s playing out my laptop as I write this) but I’m not sure what about it specifically captivates me so much. It may be its tonality, vocal range or just something else but it was lovely to listen to. He also brought pure joy to the stage, moving along with the music and just having some fun. I’m going to link a bunch of his stuff at the end of the post so please check it out because I’d love for him to get some more recognition though I’m not sure how much my blog will actually help with this.
I’m also in love with the floral blazer that he’s wearing in his ‘All I Have,’ music video.
The second support act was a band called To ‘Kill a King’. The frontman Ralph Pelleymounter went to university with the lead singer of Bastille, Dan Smith. Together they also have a band called ‘Annie Oakley Hanging,’ and played one of their songs later on during the show. To Kill a King are also incredibly talented musicians and for the final song of their set, they were joined on stage by Charlie Barnes and Dan Smith. I liked the way that they really used harmony throughout their songs. At multiple points most, if not all, members were singing to create beautiful chords.
If you ever go to a concert please go see the support act as well as the main one. It’s a bit like getting a mini free concert included with your ticket and who knows? You might find your new favourite artist at the same time.
I wasn’t sure how big of an orchestra there was going to be, all I knew was there was a gospel choir joining them but again I was unsure of the size On stage there were 19 musicians (I counted) so as well as the band there was a string quartet, a trumpet, trombone, saxophone, a percussionist, Charlie and the gospel choir. Not gonna lie, I was perhaps expecting a bigger orchestral ensemble but I think it was well proportioned and worked well for their songs. Either way, there was a cellist so I was pretty happy.
I know it’s bad but I don’t know very many Bastille songs so I felt a bit like a fraud being there but I am so glad I was, the concert was incredible. I was in awe of how talented they all were, especially the choir. If I could sing like that I can’t imagine ever stopping, not to mention how incredible my shower performances would be.
I would like to mention a little bit about the production of the tour because of how good it was. I didn’t notice the figures sitting on the light-up railing until Dan pointed them out to me and somewhat creeped me out for a second. I’m not entirely sure of their relevance but I’m guessing they have some sort of reference to Bastille but as I’m not particularly familiar with them I can’t say for sure. The lighting always matched the song and the vibe it was giving. There were a couple of occasions when the lights shone out to the audience, giving the musicians a lovely silhouette but temporarily blinding Dan and I. But those particular lights were my favourite as it cast shadows at the back of the hall of people dancing which in my opinion looked wonderful.
There was a point at the start of a song when the saxophonist had a mini solo and I was a bit disappointed when I didn’t hear anybody else but me, applaud him directly after. Bastille are evidently amazing but their tour would obviously not have been what it was without the other musicians. Part of me wishes that the string quartet had more melodies to play but I know that I’m just biasbecauseseI am a cellist myself and not that sometimes just playing long notes can get tedious.
The atmosphere throughout the entire concert was amazing. Audience members who had seats stood up to dance along, everyone was singing and having a fantastic time. At the very end of the concert, there was a standing ovation from everybody in attendance, I don’t think I could have clapped anymore without losing feeling in my hands for the rest of the evening. It was my favourite thing about the night and generally is whenever I go to concerts, no matter the genre.
As Dan and I were leaving after the concert had ended a member of the gospel choir was walking around the Usher Hall, rendering me speechless. Many people praised her as she passed them by but my jaw just dropped and stayed that way until the opportunity to say anything to her had passed by. I was a little disappointed in myself and my inability to get a grip but I have to live with it now.
If you have the chance to go and see the tour I would highly recommend you do but I wouldn’t be surprised if it has sold out. If you already have tickets I’m sure you will have an incredible time and appreciate the sheer amount of talent that you are able to witness.
Photo Credits to Dan: @itsadanthing
Charlie Barnes Instagram: @charliebarnesmusic
Charlie Barnes Youtube: charliebarnesvevo
To Kill a King Instagram: @tokillaking
To Kill a King Youtube: To Kill a King UK