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Live Review: Leeds Festival 2010 - August 27th - 29th 2010

The annual Leeds Festival continues to grow in size every year, with more people taking over Braham Park to finish off the festival season and say goodbye to summer. This year's line-up consisted of a wide range of artists and bands, that you're inevitably bound to miss a few bands here and there.


After being distracted from the numerous shops, bars and food stands on the way from camp, when you eventually make it to the main arena you're left with various options. 3OH!3 were the band that opened up my weekend. A packed out NME/Radio One tent bounces throughout the duo's set producing a party-like atmosphere. As expected, the bands hit singles; 'Don't Trust Me' and 'My First Kiss' get the biggest reaction. Whilst at times their set died down, 3OH!3 put on a satisfying show.

Later on Frank Turner produces one of the best sets of the weekend with his brand of folk punk rock, that drew more and more people in throughout. The journeyman's continuous hard work is deservedly paid off, as Turner's songwriting ability and accessible showmanship produced a satisfying set that picked out the best parts of Turner's back catalogue. Which ultimately led to a great response from the respectable crowd. Without a doubt Frank Turner is one of the hard working men in punk rock right now.

The reunion of the best British bands of the last 10 years ends up being a somewhat underwhelming return. Yes The Libertines brought out the favourites, with 'Can't Stand Me Now' and 'Don't Look Back Into The Sun' just to name a few. However you're left feeling the return of the four piece could of somehow been better.

A quick walk over to the Lock Up Stage, sees The Get Up Kids take to the center stage, and despite pulling out the classic tracks such as 'Holiday' and 'Woodson' earlier on. The inclusion of newer material, means the feel good vibe of the crowd is slightly lost. However for fans of the band, the set was decent enough to leave them pleased.

Today's main stage headliners, Arcade Fire are left to play a slightly older crowd, as a majority of people are in the NME/Radio One tent raving to Pendulum. Nevertheless Arcade Fire maintained their high level of performance, with an energetic show filled with tracks from all three full-lengths.


After missing Motion City Soundtrack, The King Blues and Thrice warmed up the crowd for a day where the main stage was the place to be for all rock fans. The King Blues provided a decent enough set with their brand of political-inspired ska/reggae-fused punk. Whereas Thrice showcased more recent material but the lack of response from the crowd, meant their set, although strong was slightly forgettable.

All Time Low drew in a young crowd with a great response, as the US pop-punk group provided a fun-filled set that was pleasing enough for fans of the band and may have even won over some others. Whilst You Me At Six sound drained from a long summer on Warped Tour and do not get a response as big as I expected. However their set still brought in a decent crowd but could of been better.

Limp Bizkit are quickly becoming the ideal festival band, with plenty of heavy rock "hits" in their repertoire. The "nu-metal" group didn't have time for filler and blasted their way through an eight-song set that was energetic and one of the highlights of the weekend.

Five years since steeping on the UK shores, Weezer's return was welcomed with open arms and did not disappoint. The near-perfect set that was filled with classic Weezer tracks 'Undone - The Sweater Song'. 'Hash Pipe' and 'My Name Is Jonas', as well newer songs ('Memories') and two covers; Wheatus' 'Teenage Dirtbag' and MGMT's 'Kids' (mixed with Lady Gaga's 'Pokerface'. Ultimately ending with 'Buddy Holly', Rivers Cuomo was clearly enjoying himself, as was the crowd who couldn't get enough and the sooner Weezer play here again, the better.

Unfortunately Paramore bring a disappointing set that, at times, lost interest of some of the crowd. Whilst all the well-known songs are there, their set lacked energy and failed to draw you in.

For some today is all about blink-182, their first English show since their reunion and for long time fans, it was a welcomed return that left you with a big smile on your face when it was over. From the hit singles to the album tracks (such as 'Violence' and 'Reckless Abandon') and finishing off with an insane drum solo by Travis Barker spinning mid-air and classic blink-182 tracks in 'Dammit' and 'Carousel'. It was everything you want from a blink-182 show and more.


On the final day of the festival, the heavy days of walking, drinking and music starts to take its toll. However Billy Talent are here to wake us up. A short set with good crowd interaction and opening with fan favourites such as 'Devil in a Midnight Mass' and 'Try Honesty', the Canadians managed to get a decent enough response as the crowd grew.

After an interesting yet entertaining set from Gogol Bordello, NOFX provide a fun-filled set of pure Punk Rock, although at times a bit offensive, it is what you expect from Fat Mike and company. With classics such as 'Bob' and 'Dinosaurs Will Die' being pulled out early, to make way for lesser known material. However the bands humour is satisfying enough to keep you interested.

I'll admit Lostprophets are a better live band then they are on record, however on this showing it didn't live up to expectations. Although the singalong moments such as 'Last Summer' and 'Rooftops (A Liberation Broadcast)' get the crowd moving, you're left feeling it could of been better.

After seeing Queens Of The Stone Age it has to be said that frontman Josh Homme is a fine example of a modern day rock star; cool, calm, charismatic and collective. Homme and his band lived up to expectations, despite losing a bit of interest in the middle, the band ending their set with a hat-trick of brilliant straight-up rock; 'Go With The Flow', 'No One Knows' and 'A Song for the Dead'.

After much speculation over the entire weekend, would Axl turn up? How late would they be on? Thankfully Guns N Roses pulled out all the stops, and showed how to do a classic rock show; fireworks, extensive guitar solos, costume changes and more. Over the next hour or so, Axl and company played the songs you wanted to hear and more. Although the turn out was disappointing; even more so after 'Sweet Child O' Mine', GNR brought the festival to a close in superb fashion. Even if Axl was a bit rebellious at their conclusion.

As always Leeds Festival produces a satisfying line-up, and leaves you questioning how they can top it. Despite a few clashes and poor timing, Leeds Festival lived up to expectations and leaves you slightly sad when you leave. However we'll definitely be back there next year, with expectations slightly higher.

Sean Reid

Alter The Press!