Reading and Leeds Festival may have shut its gates again for another year but, as ever, it’s given us an array of talking-point sets. Between its world-beating returning heroes (Arctic Monkeys) to its breakthrough stars (Royal Blood, Jungle), via more controversial performers like Fat White Family, tongues were set wagging around both sites. To gauge a sense of what it was like to really be there at the front at some of the weekend’s biggest sets, we got fans at Leeds to give their three-word instant reviews straight after the gigs. The bands taking the stand for judgement? Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Blink-182, Gerard Way, Vampire Weekend, Queens of the Stone Age, Paramore, Jake Bugg and Arctic Monkeys…
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
US rapper Macklemore and producer Ryan Lewis’ brand of lol-some hip-hop is arguably not a natural fit for Reading and Leeds – particularly on the festival’s traditional “rock day”. Yet, despite this, the ‘Thrift Shop’ duo were second from top on the Main Stage under Blink-182. How did they fare? Find out below…
Friday’s Leeds headliners were Blink-182, back after their 2010 headline and with more dick jokes in tow than ever. Could they still make their brand of locker room humour work for a new generation? See what people thought…
Following My Chemical Romance’s recent decision to call it a day, frontman Gerard Way is going it alone and bringing a supposed new Britpop influence to the fore. These midday festival slots were the singer’s debut UK festival gigs under his new solo guise and – as expected – made for one of the most anticipated gigs of the weekend. This is how he fared in the eyes of the fans…
It wasn’t so much that Vampire Weekend didn’t belong on the Main Stage – with three mammoth albums under their belt, Ezra and co’s spot was more than justified. But with the double rock header of the mighty Queens of the Stone Age and Paramore following them, their billing seemed a little incongruous. Did they win the mosher crowd around?
Queens of the Stone Age
And so to the battle of the co-headliners. On one hand you have established rock gods Queens of the Stone Age, fronted by swivel-hipped ‘Ginger Elvis’ Josh Homme and in possession of a back catalogue strong enough to put the fear into any that come up against them. At Leeds, they were first on. This is what people thought…
And then you have Paramore – the new stars stepping up to the plate with everything to prove and all the tools to ensure they’re more than capable of doing just that. With QOTSA headlining at Reading, Paramore rounded off Saturday night at Leeds. Here’s how they did…
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The rise and rise of Jake Bugg shows no sign of abating and tonight he was nipping at the heels of the headliners in the second Main Stage spot, showing that it probably won’t be too long before he’s topping the bill himself. Did the crowd agree?
And finally to the Monkeys, rounding off the festival on Sunday night as only they can. Bringing ‘AM’ to a close (in the UK at least), these gigs were the last chance to see Alex Turner and co before they disappear to write possibly the most high-pressure sixth album in recent musical history. Did they give their masterwork LP a good send off?