That Time I Went to Leeds Fest and Saw a Load of Bands (Saturday)

Festivals Music Music Lowdown Reviews

music lowdown logoAfter the amazing first day of the festival I obviously anticipated Saturday providing a similar level of fun, entertainment and damn good music! On Saturday I keenly spied the line up to see who I would go see and I noticed that opening the NME stage was none other than Gerard Way who most of you will know as the guy who fronted American Rockers My Chemical Romance. So I clocked that one and then also decided to see Enter Shikari, Queens of the Stone Age and of course finish with Paramore for my second day!


On my way to the NME stage to see Gerard Way I was excited and a bit apprehensive at the same time. I was excited to see the first solo show of the lead singer of a band I’ve followed for years but also hoping it wouldn’t be a let down and a set of material very different from the MCR days.

The tent was surprisingly full for an act on at lunchtime, they were all I’m guessing eagerly waiting for Way’s arrival and when he coolly walks on the stage in his blue suit and iconic red hair you could hear the excitement around the tent. His set unfortunately didn’t include any My Chemical Romance hits but instead previewed all his upcoming solo album of brit pop tracks. Now when I say brit pop I’m guessing you’ll read this and think ”oh god.” Yes a proportion of his set was forgettable but he still produced quite a few catchy tunes and although he wasn’t singing about death parades and teenagers he still managed to keep the audience which i’m guessing are 90% MCR fans. So after he wrapped up his set I left thinking I don’t regret seeing him perform but at the same time I would have liked to have seen the highlights instead of the whole show.

Later on in the day was my 8th time seeing St Albans quartet Enter Shikari and so I knew the score by now. We would be guaranteed energy, heavy music, and brutal mosh pits and to be honest that’s what I got when I saw them this time. A few new tracks like Anaesthasist added in to performance that got everyone in the crowd jumping and moving. I would have liked to have heard Mothership however in a set that included songs like Sorry You’re Not a Winner and Solidarity I couldn’t really complain too much. As expected there was stage diving and throwing mic stands on the stage which you accept is the Shikari way and they really did put on one hell of a show. In the past I haven’t really considered them a ‘main stage act’ as I find their performance is better suited for a more intimate setting however they proved me wrong this time as when they spoke to the audience it was as if they were speaking to everyone individually it was captivating to say the least. I would however hope that in the future the festival organisers promote them and hopefully give them a chance at headlining maybe the NME stage as they have the fan base and a set full of crowd pleasers so come on Leeds I on behalf of the people command you make this happen!

enter shikari

After Enter Shikari I had planned on going to relax back at the tents however I was convinced to go see Catfish and the Bottlemen and reluctantly I went. This proved to be one of the better decisions I made! I didn’t know any songs and I still don’t ! However I enjoyed every second of their performance and without a doubt they will make their way up the festival line up in years to come!
I then settled down to watch Queens of the Stone Age (QOTSA) who I was very much looking forward to and like everyone else out there I too was holding on to that glimmer of hope that when Josh Homme and co. walked on stage Dave Grohl would come and reprise his role as the band’s drummer, however it was not meant to be. No matter! QOTSA still proved why they were co-headlining this year with an absolutely flawless set which apart from the slight differences in guitar solo’s and the odd fill could have been the records they were that perfect! Josh Homme I have come to conclusion of although looks like a younger Mr Gilbert from the Inbetweeners is one of the coolest people in music. He walked on looking like a he was from Alderley Edge about to go clay pigeon shooting until he took of more layers and ended up looking like a cowboy either way the guy is what can only be described as the shit. Plus he is super talented but anyway I got off topic the set was fantastic my only problem with it was they played, ‘No One Knows,’ second which I considered to be an odd place for arguably their best song but that sums QOTSA up perfectly, they always do the unexpected and always look to break with convention.


The day finished with Paramore who the last time I saw them were supporting Blink-182 at Leeds fest 2010 and I remember the sound was a bit off that night and so I was hoping that this time they would make up for it considering also the disaster of the sound failing during their Reading festival set the night before! But you know what? They nailed it. Paramore may not be everyone’s cup of tea but one thing they will guarantee you is good spectacle, or not as the case might be as this year the stage had large light screens which I felt would leave me blind. I can confirm though I am not blind and Paramore played a superb set with the latest line up but to be honest when people think Paramore they think Hayley Williams and it’s easy to understand why. The front woman really does know how to command any audience whether they are old fans, new fans or not fans at all! She manages to still draw your attention and make you have a good time; I feel that if she asked me to jump off a cliff I’d probably find a good reason to do what she says. The set itself although not as long as Blink-182’s due to QOTSAsharing the headline spot was filled with crowd pleasers such as Still Into You, Brick by Boring Brick and Misery Business which she got a fan out to sing and although the girl couldn’t sing at all bless her it takes some proper metaphorical balls to get up on stage in front of tens of thousands of people and attempt to sing with your idols and the crowd responded by chanting the girls name, “Ellie! Ellie! Ellie!” and to be honest that really did sum Paramore up, making dreams come true whilst putting on one hell of a show!


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