It’s the last Friday night of summer; school starts this coming Monday. I’m sitting here at the dining table, listening to Queen (Greatest Hits II) and half-trying to do some readings (Corporate Crime, which is really just a bamboozle of big words like “Fraud”…. “Stock manipulation”… “Falsification of accounts” et al), half-reading inane articles on Facebook.
So yes, I am very happening. I also ate another packet of Oreo minis.
I’m also severely distracted because I have not been coping well with post concert depression after Bastille’s gig that happened 4 days ago. I thought I’d be over it by now, because I am a Mature Adult™ who can attend one concert, enjoy herself during the 90 minute set, buy some merch, then go home and move on with life. Well I didn’t buy any merch because they didn’t have the specific item I wanted, and because it was $50 for a t-shirt, $25 for a tote bag. Yeah…. no.
I also have zero ability in grasping the concept of moving on, because I keep getting drawn back into their songs, videos and other generally unproductive things (i.e. the Bastille tag on Tumblr). I have a newfound appreciation for every single track off Wild World, I find new meanings in each lyric… it’s heartwarming, but at the same time extremely unhelpful for someone starting school in 3 days.
This was my second time hearing the lads live; 2015 seem like a distant memory, though I do remember odd specifics of their first show in Singapore. Dan wore a t-shirt I didn’t really like and his hair was a little messed up because he had been wearing a cap on and off. He introduced These Streets as his favourite song off Bad Blood; Eunice and I flailed because that was my favourite song too (childish, I know, but we were young and very much in love with their music, forgive us). We weren’t familiar with the band, and I didn’t know all the songs. But I’ve been to other shows before, and I had a sensing Dan felt awkward performing live. He didn’t keep his eye on the same spot for long, he moved around a lot, his dancing was adorably bad (and I say this as a big fan of his), and his little snippets of words between songs were just one notch above mumbling. But when he sang, it was surreal. A genuine sincerity bleeds through his sounds only matched by his vocal abilities. He howled where he had to, he went high for the extra oomph. Together with the pulsing drums and guitars and keys, it was a revelation.
We came out of the Coliseum overwhelmed, partially by the heat but more by the fact that we heard some of our absolute favourite songs, these same songs that accompanied us when we studied, when we were on the commute, being performed by our favourite band right in front of our eyes. It’s like, they sang these songs. They are real.
That was in January 2015; we were in our first year of uni. Fast forward 2 years, and I’m now in my final year; Eunice is off on exchange. When I now hear the opening lines of Pompeii, it almost feels like a passive aggressive jab at me and some of my badly made life choices. It’s trite law that things, including myself, change over time, so I found solace in some things that didn’t:
- Dan’s dancing (still adorably bad, but getting less bad, and actually pretty funky),
- My ability to remember lyrics to songs I hadn’t heard in a while, even if I can’t remember a case name I read some 20 minutes ago, and
- How good it feels to lose yourself to the reverie of music.
The stage seemed bigger this time around, or maybe this was because I was closer. Dan seemed steadier, more sure of himself, he even took song requests (played the wrong version though……… still waiting for WOL part 1). The people around me seemed nicer. There was this rabid girl in front of us who made signs for what seems like every single Bastille song, she was hysterical, her hair was flying everywhere. It was pretty sweet.
I still didn’t know all the songs, but the songs I knew, they were perfection. Warmth is my favourite off Wild World – the first verse is just depressing, but the chorus is redeeming. It’s as though you are being enveloped in a nice, long hug for those few lines, and you can sense the calm amongst an urgent storm.
And when I heard it live, the warmth settled in my stomach and for a second there all my problems dissipated.
I never really gave this much thought until now, but the act of listening to music is actually a pretty intimate affair. Especially when everyone is plugged into their earphones, it is a stranger’s voice being fed into your ears with no barriers in between. With my levels of anxiety, I would feel so self-conscious if I was a musician. But I’m so glad Bastille decided to be, because their songs are some of the best things to reverberate in my ears, drowning out so many other terrible things.
You guys will never see this, but thank you so much for your music. It really soothes.
(Well. This turned out way longer than expected.)