They’re one of the biggest Alt-rock on the planet these days, and Bastille is about to hit the road for another huge North American Tour. The Wild, Wild, World Tour kicks off on March 24 at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, and includes two separate weekend shows at Coachella. The tour also features two outdoor amphitheatre shows in Central Florida including one at the brand new Orlando Amphitheater.
Interview With Wolf Gang’s Max McElligott
Bastille has capitalized on the smashing success of their recent release, Bad Blood to headline a Sold Out tour of the United States. Their support for the tour? A band familiar to both Bastille and RARA’s Farm, an act on the cusp of breaking through, London’s Wolf Gang. We caught up with uber-talented Wolf Gang frontman Max McElligott to chat about the tour, their new album and a few other interesting things.
Cretin: Max, when we first saw you a few years back at the Social, I loved the show, and your charisma.
Max: Thank you.
Cretin: At that time, it seemed as though the rest of the band was just starting to come into a groove as a band, and it was almost more of your project. Since then, has it been the same group of guys in the band?
Max: Yeah, even before that point where you had seen us, we were playing together as a band for two or three years. It’s always been the same guys. When you saw us, I was still signed as a solo project, but I was playing with the same group of guys, James, Gavin and Lasse, and we had formed into a band.
Cretin: On the Suego Faults album, you played all the instruments?
Max: I did, I hopped about from the drum kit to the piano, etc. This time out, everyone was putting in their own effort. It’s cool. On this last record, (Black River) everyone got a vote.
Cretin: Which is good because you get more creative spark.
Max: Yeah it’s just nice to hear the different personalities, which you hear on the record. We sound much more like a band.
Cretin: Are you still doing the primary writing?
Max: It’s shared. James (Wood the bassist) also contributed quite heavily, so it’s a mixture.
Cretin: The new EP is out. Will we hear these songs on the forthcoming full-length album?
Max: The album is all done, and those three are on the album. So that’s a taste of what can be expected, but there’s still another seven or eight songs that will be on (Black River).
Cretin: On Suego Faults all of the songs came together nicely, almost like it was a concept album. Was that the plan?
Max: Yeah, there was a theme that ran through it. A dreamy, ethereal type experience, a romantic one, I feel. And, this next album also has a theme to it, but it’s more grounded in reality and our own experiences. It’s almost as though you’ve woken up from that dreamy ethereal Suego Faults experience. This is much more like the real world, but still with notions of romanticism but just a little more realistic about the lives we are living and friends of ours are living and that you reach in the late twenties; people questioning the paths in their lives, so it’s a little more autobiographical in a real way I suppose.
Cretin: A lot of the great albums over time were written by band members of that age. It’s a fertile time for writing.
Cretin: So how has the sound changed in the last two years, any noticeable changes? Will we still hear that same Wolf Gang?
Max: Well, you’ll hear tonight, I guess. I think it feels obviously a little more bandy and maybe a little more raw, and there will still be synthetic elements and sort of atmospherics, but maybe that’s been reined in a little bit. I think vocally I’ve pushed myself a bit more and I might sound a bit more truthful to my voice. I absolutely loved the last album and this is just slightly different, but I love it equally.
Cretin: So how did you end up touring with Bastille?
Max: So, funny enough, maybe seven or eight years ago, I used to go down to Brighton, a town about an hour South of London, and I’d play these acoustic nights and Dan from Bastille was kind of doing the same thing. So we actually played together in small pubs long before Bastille existed and long before Wolf Gang existed. It’s actually very nice and quite surreal to be out here and seeing Bastille absolutely smashing and to be playing these big stages with them and to think we were just two young boys trying to pursue some kind of career in music. So it was really nice to support them. They’re a great band and they’re all lovely guys.
Cretin: Perseverance has paid off for both bands. It’s nice to see that success for both of you. You realize you’ve sold out tonight?
Max: Bastille sold out tonight.
Cretin: We’ve been giving Wolf Gang great props because you guys are so great live. I think everyone coming out is going to enjoy you guys, as well.
Max: It’s been going damn well. It’s a good support, because it seems that the guys coming out to see Bastille have seemed to be appreciative of our music. On Twitter the feedback has been real positive.
Cretin: Your Twitter has exploded in the past few months.
Max: It’s nice when you actually have something to be promoting and talking about and you’re actually doing something. The whole last year was sort of a hibernating period of just writing and recording. But now that we’re out on the road again and meeting people and shaking hands and taking photos and playing for them and hearing what they think of the new songs. It’s nice to have that activity going on again.
Cretin: Will we see you back in the States this year?
Max: We’ll be back I think in the summer. Maybe hit the West Coast. We try to spend as much time in America as we can.
Cretin: When are we going to see the new album released.
Max: Realistically the album will probably be coming out late summer, maybe September time. I think because we’ve been outside the game writing and recording, we wanted to build that up again and get people excited about us.
Cretin: Anything we’ll hear tonight from the new album?
Max: Yeah, plenty of new material
Cretin: Excellent, looking forward to it.
Max: Great to see you again.
And from there, they hit the stage, and killed it… again. Watch for this talented, quickly rising band in your city, and in the meantime, check out our show review from a few weeks ago: Wolf Gang Orlando Concert Review.
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Bastille plays at House of Blues Orlando
Friday night, Orlando hosted Bastille, one of today’s hottest Alt-Rock bands; and boy, was it a night to remember.
Before the wildly popular Bastille took the stage, Wolf Gang, an interactive and entertaining British band, welcomed the sold out crowd with a strong set – more on them below.
This night was about the main event…Bastille. Starting their performance at 9:40, with one of their most popular songs, “Bad Blood,” Bastille put on a performance that the audience will remember for the rest of their lives. Dan Smith, the band’s lead vocalist, came on stage and danced like there was no tomorrow. Many in the crowd wanted to jump on stage and bust a move alongside him.
One of the many unique perks about Bastille is the fact that many of their songs have such powerful meanings behind them. While playing “Laughter Lines” you couldn’t resist from tearing up; the song hits your heart. They took the crowd’s breath away during an awe-inspiring performance of “Oblivion.” During the song, Smith stayed center stage and belted out the song while paying the piano. The lights were a subdued dark blue and purple; everything about the performance was perfect.
There were little things that added a nice touch, like how bassist Will Farquarson wore a Mickey Mouse shirt or when Smith, clad in a House of Blues shirt, made the audience laugh when he stated “As you can tell from the past hour, I am potentially the worst dancer.” It all helped add up to made the night more memorable. Nearing the end of their performance, Bastille had one more surprise for the audience.
Smith decided to walk through the entire venue. Yep, you heard that right, Dan Smith zipped up his hoodie and marched through House of Blues while singing the song “Flaws.” He even climbed up the stairs and toured the balcony! I’ve been to many concerts before, but never have I seen something as brave as this. Can you imaging walking through hundreds of screaming fans while singing a song?
After finishing their performance, the crowed chanted “ONE MORE SONG!” repeatedly until Bastille came out for their encore, where they played two final songs before closing the concert.
The first encore song that they sang was “Of the Night,” a melody of two songs, “Rhythm of the Night” by Corona and “Rhythm is a Dancer” by Snap!. During their performance of this song, the band had the whole crowd moving. Smith had the audience crouch down and jump up during the chorus, leaving everyone smiling and dancing alongside the band.
Bastille ended the concert with their “Billboard top 10” hit “Pompeii.” The crowd went crazy to say the least. Smith didn’t even need to sing, as the crowd was belting every lyric to the song. Before the bridge of the song, the crowd sang the lyrics without hesitation. You could see the band’s faces light up when hearing the crowd sing the song without the help Smith. It was obvious the band members love what they do, which only added to their breath-taking performance. There is so much more to come from this young top-notch band, and I strongly suggest listening to the band to everyone I cross paths with. They are quite astonishing.
You can check out our show photos here: Bastille HOB Photos. (We will be loading more over the next few days, so Like Our Facebook for Alerts)
Back to the opening band, Wolf Gang, they were quite entertaining. During the nine song set, my friends and I gawked over lead singer Max McElligott’s distinctive British accent. Every time he talked to the crowd, our inner twelve-year-old girl was screaming. We were also gifted with bassist James Wood’s prominent stage presence and hair performance. His hair took center stage as it bounced along with Wood, with every note the band played. Believe me, most girls at the House of Blues envied his hair. Lucky for us, Wolf Gang sang a few brand new songs that will be released on their new album, Black River. If you haven’t listened to them before, I encourage you to start.
Wolf Gang Orlando Concert Review
Ever since the release of their critically acclaimed breakthrough album Suego Faults in 2011, Wolf Gang has been poised on the precipice of success. Capitalizing on a personal relationship with Bastille frontman Dan Smith, they’ve kicked off a huge tour of the United States, playing in front of packed houses every step along the way.
On Friday night, they came to House Of Blues in Orlando, where they opened the show in front of a zealous Sold Out crowd. It’s not the first time they’ve toured with popular national acts (Coldplay, The Naked And Famous and Keane), but this tour with Bastille seems to be the ideal pairing,
When they took the stage, the house was already packed and at a fever pitch, and the five lads from London quickly commanded the stage. Led by versatile frontman and founder, Max McElligott, they kicked into “Black River,” the title track off of their current EP and forthcoming full-length. The song, a hard-driving hit waiting to happen shows the band in a new light, perhaps a bit more full of a sound, but still maintaining a bit of the ethereal qualities that identifies their sound.
It was clear early into the set that since their last visit to The Sunshine State, the band has jelled and become more cohesive. We interviewed McElligott before they hit the stage, and the affable performer noted that the fellow band members have taken a more active role in crafting the new music and it translates well onto their live show. (We’ll have the full interview posted in about a week, so Follow / Like Us to make sure you don’t miss it).
Twitter follower, @sammiecolella, offered up a setlist from the Miami show the prior night, but it was definitely different from what we listened to, and with so much new content being played, I can’t offer too many comments about specific songs. What I can share is that the new stuff was excellent, including more of a focus on Gavin Slater’s creative guitar work. Unfortunately, the full album release is still a few months away, but all indications are that this one will be worth the wait.
Throughout the show, bass player James Wood never stopped moving. He was a human pogo-stick, bouncing around the stage and seemingly having a great time. McElligott, who played all instruments on Suego Faults traded off a few different instruments during the show, but his greatest talent was his voice. His range is fantastic and he sounded strong all night, highlighted by beautiful vocals on “Midnight Dancers.”
The crowd favorites were the band’s two earlier hits, “Lions And Cages, their closer, and a rousing rendition of “The King And All His Men,” which had the entire arena clapping rhythmically and harmonizing perfectly.
The only downside was the sound mix downstairs at the House of Blues, where the vocals and guitar were a bit lost at times. We went upstairs for the last half of the set and the sound was much better.
You can see our photo album from the show here: Wolf Gang at HOB-Orlando
McElligott noted that the band would be touring again later this year, hopefully presenting another opportunity for Florida fans to catch this talented young band.
If you were there, we’d love to hear your thoughts in the Comments section below. (Hey, we’re only 10 Followers from 1,000 – Follow Us and we’ll be forever grateful!