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LIVE! – Leeds Festival

September 3, 2010 by  

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LIVE! – Leeds Festival

EVENT: Leeds Festival
LINE UP: Headliners: Arcade Fire, Blink 182, Guns ‘n Roses.
VENUE, TOWN: Bramham Park, Leeds, Leeds
DATE: 27th August 2010

FIVE WORD REVIEW: A continuation of musical ecstacy.

MAIN REVIEW: Leeds Festival 2010
27-29 August 2010

The Leeds and Reading festivals are instilled in the conscience of any self-respecting music fan, and they annually contain a broader assortment of bands than most of their recently incepted counterparts. T In The Park is geared towards mainstream music fans, Download and Sonisphere placate the nation’s metalheads and V Festival targets the NME-obsessed indie kids. Yet despite the rapid influx of these new niche festivals, Leeds and Reading are proving as successful as ever. Is variety the spice of life for festival goers? Or should Leeds/Reading learn a trick or two from the latest crop of musical extravaganzas?

(Bold text: five word reviews)


Sheffield’s Rolo Tomassi begin the weekend in the NME tent, receiving a euphoric crowd reaction after a dexterous showing of technical math-core.

Then, The Gaslight Anthem captivate their audience, courtesy of a zealous display of Springsteen- influenced punk on the colossal main stage. Initial sound problems tarnish their opening tracks, though the issues are soon repaired, allowing `The ’59 Sound’ and `Great Expectations’ to mesh perfectly with new anthems from the New Yorkers’ latest album, ‘American Slang’.

A timely gap in my timetable of bands then enables me to sample the site’s large variety of stalls. There’s an eclectic range of products to purchase but unless you condone daylight robbery, it is highly recommended that you supply your own meals. £15 for a 9’ Dominoes pizza, in particular, is almost satanic!

A return to the NME tent sees Kids In Glass Houses’ pop-rock stumble into total obscurity; vocalist Aled Phillips struggles to reach his high notes, detracting from an otherwise pleasing performance.

On the contrary, Frank Turner completes an unblemished set of energetic folk. A new track, `I Still Believe’ is aired, but it is older tracks such as `Photosynthesis’ that invigorate his Leeds fans.

Thousands of attendees witness Pete Doherty’s financially motivated main stage appearance with The Libertines, whilst Cancer Bats fiercely deliver their turbulent hardcore on the festival’s punk and hardcore stage: The Lock Up. Subsequently, The Get Up Kids complete a greatest hits set, spanning through their full discography and leaving their crowd longing for more.

Bad Religion maintain the high musical standard as they dismiss any claims of lassitude by playing a 21 track set list with mindboggling prowess ,and `Sorrow’ ends the night in memorable fashion.


Motion City Soundtrack open the day admirably, with irresistibly catchy pop-punk.Unfortunately, though, The King Blues’ mundane political punk doesn’t recapture the same energy.

Thrice show examples of extraordinary musicianship, though their experimental post-hardcore doesn’t please excitable Blink 182 fans. Opportunely, this fact is a blessing for All Time Low, who stimulate their young crowd with an resounding set of Blink 182-inspired tracks.

Limp Bizkit literally keep today’s bill `Rollin’ with their meteoric number one hit. Nu-metal may be outdated, yet ‘Bizkit’s enormous crowd aren’t concerned as they sing and dance nostalgically.

Weezer complete, categorically, the greatest performance of the entire weekend. `Hash Pipe’, ‘Surf Wax America’ and `Buddy Holly’ are presented deftly, while singer Rivers Cuomo positions the crowd in a state of euphoria by climbing every object in his line of vision.

Paramore have a tough act to follow, though the youngsters perform with the finesse of seasoned veterans. Vocalist, Hayley Williams realises the limelight is on her and shines by capturing the audience in the palm of her hand.

Millions of teenagers shared an affinity with Blink 182 in the late nineties and early millennium; I was one of them. Therefore, it’s disappointing to reveal that their headline set was largely disappointing. `First Date’, `Damnit’ and all their major hits are played but they lack musical co-ordination and co-singer, Tom DeLonge doesn’t sing with any true conviction. The Blink 182 fanatics are gratified by the return of Mark, Tom and Travis but that’s potentially because of the band’s undeniable sentimental value.


Young Guns start the day with a commendable and buoyant performance, drawing from their recent album `All Our Kings Are Dead’.

A Day To Remember effectively convey their poppy metal-core to the delight of their magnanimous crowd, with `The Plot To Bomb The Panhandle’ inciting mass chaos. Billy Talent then follow suit, entertaining thousands with doses of their aggressive and up-tempo punk rock.

NOFX offer a punk rock comedy show that honours their devoted fan base and amuses newcomers. On the other hand, Lostprophets seemingly engage the full population of Bramham Park in a collective enactment of their 2004 single, `Last Train Home’.

Today, The Lock-Up Stage exemplifies the diversity of Leeds Festival; Hatebreed and Sick Of It All mercilessly expose their volatile hardcore to the tent’s inhabitants, whereas Against Me! adeptly perform passionate folk-influenced punk.

Alkaline Trio conclude the weekend’s festivities triumphantly, completing a varied set that incorporates classics like `Private Eye’ alongside rarities `My Friend Peter’ and `Goodbye Forever’. Matt Skiba’s vocals occasionally appear clumsy, but when a full-capacity tent is repeating every word, the criticism is rendered redundant.

Overall, Leeds festival continued its unbridled popularity this year. The line-up catered to a wide spectrum of music fans, and the scheduling of bands was astonishingly efficient. In regards to the site, all the stages were easily accessible.

The festival only revealed its flaws during the night, when dub-step music dominated a large majority of the site’s DJ sets. For example, my campsite DJ opted to continuously play dub-step tracks only minutes after Blink 182 headlined the festival. If over 60,000 campers sang along to pop-punk, wouldn’t it be prudent for their DJ’s to play music of a similar ilk?

Irrespectively, Leeds festival offered a weekend of musical wonderment that I would recommend to any music fan.


Alkaline Trio.JPG
Billy Talent.JPG
The Get Up Kids.JPG



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