Live coverage of the second day at Leeds Festival 2013. See photos, reviews and more from the likes of Bring Me The Horizon, Frank Turner, Deftones and Green Day.
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Ta-da! To open the main stage at this, the festival they’ve been attending since they were teenagers, is something of a big deal for While She Sleeps. Buoyed by the sense of occasion, they come out swinging, and by the conclusion of a cataclysmic ‘Dead Behind The Eyes’, this one’s in the bag. Much like the band themselves, the sound is nigh on perfect: crisp, sharp and heavier than a titanium-plated rhinoceros pregnant with twins. Set-wise, they play a blinder - ‘The North Stands For Nothing’ rages harder than ever; ‘Our Courage, Our Cancer’ is at least as heavy with emotion as it is with bone-crunching riffs; and ‘Crows’ sees a level of carnage which even permanently rabble-rousing frontman Loz Taylor seems taken aback by. Furiously punishing and relentless in their brutality, as ‘Seven Hills’ steamrollers proceedings to a close, today marks the moment where WSS finally step into the big leagues. It suits them. [PW]
You can probably count the number of people who can get away with calling tens of thousands of people a bunch of "f***ing c***s" on one hand, but one of the names on that list will undoubtedly be Benji Webbe. Of course, the Skindred frontman does so in the most loving of ways, which is completely at odds with the aggression the quartet unleash upon a surprisingly up for it crowd this afternoon. Despite this being the band's main stage debut, they attack their 40 minute slot as though it's second nature. It's not just because the crowd hangs off Webbe's every word, which includes a quite spectacular looking Newport Helicopter during closing song 'Warning', but because its surprising just how many people seem to know every word to the likes of 'Ratrace' and 'Pressure' - songs that are closing in on 12 years of age yet showing no signs of weathering. It may have taken over a decade for them to get to this point, but today Skindred make it worth the wait. And as the outro tape says, on days like this Nobody Does It Better. [RB]
It’s the last show of the season for Exeter’s Rat Attack and despite a slightly disappointing turnout over on the Lock Up stage, they’re doing their damndest to make it count. Loveably animated vocalist Mike Hodges chats away like we’ve known each other for years, treating this like it ain’t no big thing while simultaneously playing like he’s headlining the moon. Complimenting their strong charm offensive with an infectious brand of timeless, turbo-charged rock ‘n’ roll thrills, Rat Attack slowly but surely wear down the initial indifference they face out front, comprehensively bringing the party whether we like it or not. For all his hand-clapping, booty-shaking antics, however, the real star of the show is Hodges’ shirt, which features enough sequins to make Rhianna cry. It’s a strong look for a band still struggling to break out from the toilet circuit, but it’s also a fitting metaphor for their admirable ambition to do so. [PW]
Originally booked to play breakthrough album ‘Sticks And Stones’ in its entirety, a bungled set time means that main stage veterans New Found Glory are sadly robbed of the opportunity to do so. Still, judging by the reaction they receive from the largest crowd of the day by far, this hardly matters. The influence of today’s headliners on NFG’s early 90s-indebted pop-punk sound may be more obvious than ever, but 15-plus years down the line, this is a band who continue to stand on their own merits. Admittedly, their fleeting half hour or so onstage contains no surprises whatsoever, but from perennial super-hit ‘My Friends Over You’ to the closing ‘All Downhill From Here’, the Floridians simply deliver banger after banger. Retaining their youthful charm in spite of their rapidly advancing years, theirs is a typically effusive, heart-warming performance which effortless reminds us exactly why we fell in love with them in the first place. [PW]
With the weather deteriorating and the skies darkening at a rate of knots, there's something particularly sinister about Bring Me The Horizon's emergence today, which comes complete with painted faces that look as though they've come from Silent Hill rather than Sheffield. Opening with a stunning one-two of 'Shadow Moses' and 'Chelsea Smile' - the latter of which sees Oli Sykes demanding a sea of crowd surfers in order to "show those Yanks we've been facing all summer how it's done" - today feels very much like a homecoming or sorts, and there's very little to disappoint over the course of their 45 minute set. Whether it's the staggering atmospheric power of 'Can You Feel My Heart' or the sheer brute force of closer 'Antivist', the ground shakes and the conditions remain braved by a quite remarkable number of people. If proof were needed before today then this is it: Bring Me The Horizon are the best metal band in the country. [RB]
It's been umpteen years, but your favourite post-hardcore band's favourite post-hardcore band Quicksand are finally back on these shores after their reformation in 2012. The New Yorkers may be appearing an hour or so earlier than they were originally billed due to bassist Sergio Vega's other commitments with some band called Deftones, but their premature arrival does nothing to dampen an engaging opening jaunt through 'Omission'. Led by Walter Schreifels of Rival Schools fame, the remainder of their sleazy, crunchy set is somewhat lost on the majority of the half-full tent, a lot of whom where barely out of nappies when the band's second and final album 'Manic Compression' was released in 1995. That's settled then, a new album please, gents. (AB)
It may be the weather that’s largely to blame, but by the time Feed The Rhino hit the Lock Up stage backed by an ominous intro tape, the tent is precisely the way they like it: hot, sweaty and rammed to the gills. The always terrifying Lee Tobin (seriously, those are murderer’s eyes) is in the crowd before they’ve struck a note, but in a rare break from form he elects to remain onstage for the remainder of the balls-out hardcore mob’s sluggathon of a set. Insanely tight due the kind of touring schedule which would make Black Flag blush, there’s no faulting the Kent quintet’s delivery, even if their particular take on the genre is unlikely to propel them from the underground any time soon. That said, even those seeking blessed shelter from the monsoon raging outside are paying attention; sometimes, it seems, a no-nonsense battering is all it takes to get one’s point across. [PW]
Entering beneath a giant backdrop that depicts a man riding a horse, Deftones have already won in the eyes of anybody with a sense of humour before they've even played a note. As luck would have it, however, they've got plenty of those to boot, and of all the bands performing this weekend you won't find one remotely as synonymous with Reading and Leeds as they. Dropping 'Rocket Skates', 'Be Quiet And Drive' and 'My Own Summer' inside the first 15 minutes, the Californians are as glorious today as they were when they first set foot on this stage well over a decade ago. There's even an added treat in the form of Chino Moreno's backside being (accidentally) bared for all to see on the big screens as he attempts to scale the barricade, providing light relief before a genuinely brilliant closing duo of 'Engine No. 9' turn the smiles to gurns of aggressive approval. [RB]
Rather than his usually energetic demeanour, it's a slightly underwhelming but no less smooth entrance for Itch today as he rolls on in a wheelchair after breaking his heel earlier this year. One of the select few who is equally at home in the pages of this magazine as he is on the BBC 1Xtra Stage, the diminutive former King Blues frontman rattles through his new material with a masked backing band in tow. The groove of 'Homeless Romantic' certainly misses the distinctive pipes of Taking Back Sunday's Adam Lazzara, but such is solo life. His parts are sung by a backing singer, and a trip into the middle of the crowd in his chair on the grubby, pounding 'London Is Burning' more than confirms that life after The King Blues is still a blast for Itch. [AB]
It's been a fair few years since System Of A Down last set foot on Leeds' main stage - 9 to be exact - and much has changed. Between the band going on hiatus at the peak of their popularity to their live reunion at Download in 2011, the feeling coming into tonight's penultimate slot is one of uncertainty as well as excitement. But while the very notion of a System Of A Down performance won't waggle many eyebrows in 2013, there are some crucial differences to the band that last inhabited this stage this evening. The first is that unlike a good 50% of their previous visits to these shores, today they sound phenomenal, driving home the likes of 'Aerials' and 'Prison Song' with a power and precision not seen in easily a decade. The second and perhaps most noticeable, though, is that they actually look as though they're enjoying being here, which is in stark contrast to the band that made its return at Donington. The smile on frontman Serj Tankian's face is as wide and genuine as it's been for some time, not least as he watches guitarist Daron Malakian twirl his way across the stage during 'Chop Suey!'. Maybe such ease of company means that a new System album may finally see the light of day sooner rather than later, but for the time being, these are the sights and sounds of a band who are finally on the same wavelength, and what sights and sounds those are to behold. [RB]
Relegated to a mere 40 minute headline slot, this year’s billing has not been kind to Alkaline Trio. With precious little time to waste (eh, eh?!) before every man and his dog high-tails it to catch the return of Green Day, we receive nothing by way of ‘banter’; instead, the ‘Trio are content to turn in wall-to-wall melodic punk rock gold. With a set list as compressed as this, you truly appreciate just how many bona fide classics they’ve amassed over the years, three quarters of an hour (yeah, they tell the curfew to do one) barely scraping the surface of what they usually have to offer. Crowning a career-spanning smorgasbord of delights with an absolutely majestic ‘Sadie’ and bookending the whole with the untouchable ‘Private Eye’ and ‘Radio’, Matt, Dan and Derek are on fabulous form: laidback, watertight and beyond reproach to the degree that we daren’t even call Skiba out for wearing sunglasses indoors. [PW]
When the first hour of your set is of such quality that it can include the likes of modern day classics ‘Boulevard Of Broken Dreams’ and ‘Holiday’, yet still be dismissed as little more than a preamble to the main event, you know you’ve got riches to spare. Several hundred ‘Can I get a whaaay-ohs’ later, the ‘Dookie’ banner finally unfurls, and from here on in Green Day are dripping diamonds all the way. After all, when else are we likely to hear the prodigal threesome drop ‘Sassafras Roots’ or ‘Emenius Sleepus’ these days? And how long has it been since Billie Joe pulled a fan onstage to do anything other than play guitar to ‘Knowledge’ (FYI: this evening’s chosen one sings ‘Welcome To Paradise’, and does himself proud to boot)? Put simply, this is every GD fan’s wet dream, the closing barrage of ‘St Jimmy’, ‘Minority’, a genuinely epic ‘Jesus Of Suburbia’ and the inescapable ‘Time Of Your Life’ merely the icing on a cake marked ‘1994: the year Green Day legitimised punk rock’, period. [PW]
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Rock Sound review crew: [RB] Ryan Bird, [PW] Pete Withers, [AB] Andy Biddulph