Green Day headline a soggy second day at the Yorkshire bash
Day two of Leeds Festival is now complete, with acts including Parquet Courts, Frank Turner, Major Lazer and Skrillex having performed.
Skrillex performed his headline set on the NME/BBC Radio 1 Stage from inside a custom-built space ship, delivering a blistering one and a half hour set comprising original material and a number of remixes. Dressed in a black Metallica t-shirt, Skrillex played his bass heavy take on Damien Marley’s ‘Jamrock’, as well as the A$AP Rocky track ‘Wild For The Night’, to a packed out tent. He dedicated Missy Elliott’s ‘Work It’ to “all the ladies” and repeatedly shouted, “Leeds, we rowdy!” Visuals throughout the set included images from Hollywood animation Wreck It Ralph plus Mortal Kombat and internet meme Nyan Cat, with a second version of the cat with Skrillex’s face appearing on the big screens side of stage. Other remixes in the set included Nero’s ‘Promises’ and ‘Fire’ by Magnetic Man.
Chvrches put on a show full of wit, charm and chill in the Festival Republic Tent, arriving onstage to a slowed-down version of the preacher-man intro to Prince’s ‘Let’s Go Crazy’. Singer Lauren Mayberry joking about how the crowd was “probably a million times soggier than we are”, and recalled a festival where she was hit by a bottle of piss for sitting on someone’s shoulders. In between, they played a hook-heavy electro-pop set including singles ‘Gun’, ‘Recover’ and ‘Lies’, and tracks from their forthcoming album ‘The Bones Of What You Believe’, such as the chilling ‘Science/Vision’. Keyboardist and sample-master Martin Doherty took centre stage for one tune before Mayberry introduced a final ‘The Mother We Share’ by declaring “we’ll let you go and change your socks and get some Super Noodles”.
After an uncharacteristic early start yesterday at Reading, Wiley arrived 25 minutes late for his set at the BBC 1Xtra tent, but with a crowd warmed by a DJ spinning Rihanna and Daft Punk, there was a hyped response to opening tracks ‘Flying’ and ‘Wearing My Rolex’. Disaster struck halfway through the latter when Wiley’s DJ’s decks broke, leaving the grime MC to fill in. “Oh my lord!” he said, moments before the music kicked back in.
A$AP Rocky, accompanied by members of the A$AP crew, drew a huge crowd to the NME/BBC Radio 1 Stage. The rapper asked if anyone in the crowd smoked weed before playing ‘Purple Swag’, after which he said: “I got the feeling you motherfuckers want to go wild right about now, don’t you? Every time I come to the UK, shit gets loud.” He then played ‘Wild For The Night’, his collaboration with Skrillex, stopping the song halfway through to instruct the audience to go wild when the song reached its drop. Despite being next on the bill, Skrillex did not appear.
System Of A Down returned to Leeds Festival for the first time since 2003, playing a set that spanned all five of their albums. Opening with their 2002 single ‘Aerials’, frontman Serj Tankian later weaved sections of the vocal melody of Donna Summer’s ‘I Feel Love’ into the breakdown of ‘Psycho’. They followed it with 2003 break-out hit ‘Chop Suey!’. After which, guitarist Daron Malakian took over vocals for ‘Lonely Day’. “We love you here in the north”, Tankian said, at the start of ‘Toxicity’, after which the band thanked the large and vocal Main Stage audience for their support, before finishing on 1999 single ‘Sugar’.
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Major Lazer played an action-packed set which saw welly-clad Diplo riding over the crowd in a Zorb, spraying the front of the audience with CO2 gas and whipping his shirt off. The group’s set included snippets of Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ ‘Heads Will Roll’ and Watch The Throne track ‘Niggas In Paris’ plus the band’s own tracks, including ‘Get Free’, which was dedicated to “dancehall reggae fans”. Inflatable versions of the group’s commando mascot stood onstage throughout. ‘Bubble Butt’ proved a huge hit with the crowd, not least because it was followed by a blast of House Of Pain’s ‘Jump Around’. Bastille frontman Dan Smith danced along as he watched from the side of the stage. Later mixes included Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ and Snoop Dogg’s ‘Drop It Like It’s Hot’. The show concluded with a man being pulled onstage from the crowd, blindfolded and danced over by the groups’s two dancers, before a reprise of ‘Get Free’ during which Diplo threw fake money into the crowd.
Bastille were beneficiaries of the poor weather as thousands of fans made their way to the NME/BBC Radio 1 Stage in preperation for their 5.35pm set. Frontman Dan Smith described the number of people watching as “mental” as he performed songs from debut album ‘Bad Blood’ alongside his bandmates and a three piece string section. ‘Things We Lost In The Fire’ was played early on, closely followed by ‘Weight Of Living’ and a cover of City High’s 2001 hit ‘What Would You Do?’. Later on in the set the band played their singles ‘Pompeii’ and ‘Bad Blood’.
Californian metallers Deftones overcame the elements, managing to re-energise a sodden crowd over the course of their 50-minute Main Stage set. Frontman Chino Moreno was down at the barrier by the time of the third song, ‘Be Quiet And Drive (Far Away)’, with over overzealous security guard almost bearing Moreno’s backside to the crowd in his haste to pull him back from the crowd. Later, after ‘Change (In The House Of Flies)’, Moreno downed a bottle of local ale in one gulp, to huge cheers. Moreno also paid tribute to the crowd, saying, “I know we’ve been here a few times and it’s always weird, but I’m having a great day.” The set ended with debut single ‘7 Words’.
Frank Turner did not repeat his Reading wheelchair stunt as he walked onstage with his band at 4.20pm. Playing in adverse weather conditions, Turner rallied his audience by shouting, “Fuck the rain!” and getting them to do jumping jacks during ‘Recover’. Elsewhere the set was similar to yesterday’s at Reading, with ‘I Still Believe’ a highlight.
“It looks like the gods of Leeds Festival have smiled on Frightened Rabbit,” said Scott Hutchison as he gazed out at a tent packed full of damp festival-goers sheltering from a torrential downpour in the Somme-like Leeds fields. “I know half of you have no fucking idea who we are but hopefully you’ll enjoy the next half an hour.” And they did, as Hutchison led Frightened Rabbit through a selection of epic folk tunes. ‘Holy’ and the spritely ‘Swim Until You Can’t See Land’ cheered the sodden crowd as Hutchison led them in a one-note sing-along he dubbed “the human accordion”. He instigated a celebratory clap-along for a closing ‘The Loneliness And The Scream’.
Peace played to a packed tent at the NME/BBC Radio 1 Stage, during which the rain started pouring down. With a set including the best cuts from debut album ‘In Love’ and a cover of Disclosure’s ‘White Noise’, members of the crowd were singing along with every song. Frontman Harry Koisser gave a shout out to the person who took his sunglasses at the NME Leeds Festival Signing Tent earlier – “Whoever has them, they’re yours now – enjoy them,” he said.
If Cerebral Ballzy‘s punishing, high energy set wasn’t enough to convince you that the New York band are rebels, then the fact that singer Honor Titus lit a cigarette onstage in the no-smoking Lock Up tent should confirm as much. Halfway through the band’s set, they gave a shout-out to the women in the audience. “Thank you to every girl who came to the punk rock show. Let’s hear you,” said Titus. Following a muted response from the crowd, he said: “Alright, all three of them. We’re still glad you’re here.” New song ‘Be Your Toy’ followed, before which Titus told the crowd, “We premiered this song on Radio 1 two days ago. It’s a new song from our new album that we’ve been writing for about a year.” Another new song, ‘City’s Girl’, was introduced as being about “a girl in New York City”.
Moving back to older material, Titus delivered a list of expectations to the crowd: “Circle pit, fucking stagedive right now,” he commanded. The crowd obliged as he stalked the pit in front of the crowd barrier. “You kids are alright, Leeds,” he said after. “Fucking circle pit at 3pm. I like you.” After ‘Sk8 All Day’. At the end of the set, Titus issued a command to the crowd: “Punk rock in 2013: it’s up to you.”
Fidlar took to the stage at the earlier-than-planned time of 2.50pm, opening with ‘Cheap Beer’. Frontman Zac Carper wore a white T-shirt with a crossed-out ‘Straight Edge’ written on it as the band ran through songs from their 2013 album ‘Fidlar’. ‘Max Can’t Surf’ was dedicated to drummer Max Kuehn – who was described by Carper as a “Ginger angel” – while the band also played ‘Cocaine’, ‘5 To 9’ and ‘Awkward’.
Brooklyn’s Parquet Courts drew a decent throng at the Festival Republic Stage. They performed a set that drew heavily from debut album ‘Light Up Gold’ that was marked by squealing feedback and hulking bassist Sean Yeaton’s enthusiastic bouncing. The slacker rock band’s surprisingly energetic set included newer track ‘You’ve Got Me Wonderin’ Now’ plus favourites ‘Borrowed Time’ and Stoned And Starving’, which segued into ‘Light Up Gold’ and closed the set. Not for the first time this weekend, a band on the Festival Republic Stage commented on the food stall, Kick Ass Fajita, that faces the tent. “Looks like it says ass fajita,” said Yeaton.
Before them, London five-piece Charlie Boyer And The Voyeurs played to a small crowd at the Festival Republic tent, but turned in a high energy performance including ‘Be Nice’ and a long ‘Clarietta’ to close.
The Wytches made their Leeds Festival debut this afternoon, playing a short lunchtime slot on the Festival Republic stage. After a small bout of technical problems temporarily delayed their set, the band began with a new track before launching into visceral debut single ‘Digsaw’ and current release ‘Beehive Queen’. The Brighton trio then played embittered Pixies-esque track ‘Wire Frame Mattress’ – which climaxed with singer Kristian Bell hissing down the microphone and the band kicking back into a frenetic instrumental outro – before finishing with a scathing, heavy ‘Crying Clown’ to appreciative cheers from the small crowd.
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