Leeds Festival 2015: Metallica end festival following sets from Foals and Bring Me The Horizon

Third day of festival also had appearances from Babymetal, Wolf Alice, Royal Blood and more

The third and final day of Leeds Festival 2015 has finished with a headline set from Metallica that concluded a weekend of live music at Bramham Park.

Japanese trio Babymetal opened the Main Stage with a huge crowd gathering to see the three-piece, including fans who dressed in Baby Metal’s distinct wardrobe of red puffball skirts and black leather tunics.

The band’s fictional back story was revealed before they arrived on stage at 12pm, with a voice over stating that “a new style of heavy metal” was invented “A long time ago in a heavy metal galaxy far away…” by a mythical fox god.

NMEAndy Hughes/NME

Singer Su Metal sported a demonic cat mask during second song ‘Megitsune’ while her bandmates, Yuimetal and Moametal, performed a choreographed routine to the heavy metal riffing going on around them. Backed by an older, all male band who all sported white robes and face paint, Babymetal went on to unveil a special Babymetal flag in the colours of the union jack and promote their April 2016 live date at Wembley Arena in London.

Foals surprised fans with an unnanouced afternoon slot on the NME/ Radio One Stage. Hundreds of people sprinted into the tent as the band opened with the funky ‘My Number’ with new single ‘Mountain At My Gates’ following.

Frontman Yannis Philippakis ended the set in the crowd as Foals closed the set with a wild run through the title track of their brand new album ‘What Went Down’.

NMEAndy Hughes/NME

Wolf Alice, meanwhile, had their set on the NME/ Radio 1 Stage at Leeds Festival 2015 hit with technical issues but the band laughed them off to deliver a celebratory set.

Ending their early evening set with ‘Moaning Lisa Smile’, lead singer Ellie Rowsell’s guitar stopped working and the band’s stage technician appeared unable to fix the issue. Having tried to play it a second time with no luck, Rowsell dropped the instrument on the floor and jumped on bassist Theo Ellis’ shoulders, wrestling him to the floor in the process.

NMEAndy Hughes/NME

Royal Blood previewed a new song and pledged to make the crowd “very hungover” as they stepped up to play the Leeds Festival main stage for the first time in their career.

With the audience successfully warmed-up following hits such as ‘Come On Over’ and ‘Figure It Out’, frontman Mike Kerr introduced new track ‘Hook Line and Sinker’, which featured a instantly memorable juggernaut chorus of ‘Say my name again/You’re caught in the middle “caught out in the middle”.

The band ended with an extended ‘Out Of The Black’, as drummer Ben Thatcher removed his chain, scaled the barrier then hurled himself into the crowd. Returning triumphant, he resumed his position behind his kit, as Kerr pumped out the hookline to Black Sabbath’s ‘Iron Man’. Gazing over proceedings, he punched the air ecstatically and exclaimed. “Thank you Leeds. You fucking rule.”

NMEAndy Hughes/NME

After Royal Blood departed the stage, Bring Me The Horizon staked their claim for promotion to headliner status with a confident set.

The band’s set began with a health & safety parody video in which any fans with concerns about their wellbeing were told to “please leave now.” The infomercial style clip also warned fans to expect to see flares, smoke bombs and molotov cocktails.

With new album ‘That’s The Spirit’ due out in early September, Bring Me The Horizon peppered the set with newer material. The energetic ‘Throne’ was indicative of the band’s increasingly mainstream sound which has seen their popularity increase, while set opener ‘Happy Song’ looks set to become a staple of future live sets.

NMEAndy Hughes/NME

After a seven year absence from the festival, Metallica returned to close the final night of Leeds Festival 2015 – with a bumper two-hours plus set that saw the band thank the “Metallica family” for their loyalty.

The veteran metal band entered onstage at 8.50pm to Ennio Morricone’s western soundtrack ‘The Ecstasy of Gold’, while screens showed footage from western movie The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. Frontman James Hetfield opened with a joke: “Before we start, I have an announcement,” he growled. “Someone has left the light on their limo….Wait that’s me.” Kicking off with the crowd-pleasing triptych of ‘Fuel’, ‘To Whom The Bell Tolls’ and ‘Battery’, in front of a Greek Chorus of around 50 die-hard fans situated onstage.

For the encore, Metallica dedicated a raucous ‘Whisly In A Jar” to “a fallen soldier” – late member Cliff Burton, whose life was cut short by a bus accident in 1986. “This is going to make you bounce,” pledged Hetfield. The set ended with ‘Enter Sandman’, amid a frenzy of lasers and fireworks, with black inflatable balls are hurled into the crowd.
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