Metallica headlined the Sunday night of this year’s Leeds Festival, and Planetmosh was there to witness the devastation. But first we had Babymetal and a whole host of other great bands to watch.
So, first up were Babymetal, the all-female metal international megastars broke out of their native Japan last year with their single ‘Gimme Chocolate!!’ which racked up more than five million views on YouTube in just over a month and has now been viewed over 32 million times since Feb2014.
They had the unenviable task of opening the main stage at midday, however masses of people had turned out to see them, and they gave a great 30 minute performance. The set pieces, flag waving and chorography never fail to impress, and I’m sure they gained a few more fans today. The tasty ‘Gimme Chocolate!!’ complete with synchronised dance routines was the highlight of a solid performance from the little cherubs
Next up, Fidlar, the punk rock inspired outfit from Los Angeles. These guys know how to put on a live show, sounding like a cross between Blink182 and Fear, but played just that little bit faster. Only 30 minutes stage time for these guys, which seemed criminally short, maybe they should have played for longer, higher up on a smaller stage?
Back for the third time, Marmozets are beginning to be a Leeds festival favorite and you can see why. Their rawkous alternative hi-energy set had the whole crowd on their side within minutes. Lead singer Becca MacIntyre really giving it everything she had. Marmozets chop and change through snappy punk tunes and soaring progressive epics with ease, a very diverse band with an enormous amount of technical prowess. They even drop a partial cover of Black Sabbath’s Iron Man at the end of a raucous rendition of Particle. Becca Macintyre is a utter diamond of a frontwoman who is visibly touched by the response she and the quintet are getting. They’ll be far bigger than this by the end of the decade.
Next up, Modestep, one of the first artists to bring dubstep to the live stage. They filled their 35 minute slot with a great set, combining rock, dubstep and electro hybrid. New Guitarist Kyle Deek and drummer Pat Lundy easyily fitted into their roles. Very impressive set from them and the crowd loved them, the only none rock band on the Sunday Mainstage line-up but they worked it well. Nice to see some factions of the crowd wearing the Modestep DIY party mask as well.
San Diego’s own Pierce the Veil – Vic Fuentes (vocals/guitar), Mike Fuentes (drums), Tony Perry (guitar), and Jaime Preciado (bass) – have emerged as one of the fastest-rising young bands on today’s music scene, and today Leeds festival got to witness them first hand. Right from the off they delievered one of the best recieved sets of the day, masses of crowd interaction lifted the already cheering crowd upto another level, a massive performance from Pierce the Veil.
When ALEXISONFIRE announced that they will reform for a series of summer festivals. I think a few people got excited. Their exclusive UK performance was at tthis years Reading & Leeds festivals.
Featuring the full classic line up of George Pettit, Chris Steele, Wade MacNeil, Dallas Green and Jordan ‘Ratbeard’ Hastings, it is the band’s first British live show since their two sold out performances at London’s Brixton Academy in 2012 as part of their farewell tour.
The Post-hardcore band wasted no time in shredding through their raw and energetic setlist, while technically very tight, I think they just didnt quite reach the same level as Pierce the Veil with the crowd interaction, still one off the best Hardcore / Rock / Indie bands around though.
What can you say about Royal Blood that hasnt already been said, Brighton duo Mike Kerr and Ben Thatcher make up Royal Blood, and thats it. Despite their minimal line-up of drums, bass and vocals the pair create melodic, riff-heavy power rock that shook the Leeds stage to its foundations, the incredible bass playing of Michael Kerr is at the heart of this band, but drummer Ben Thatcher is no slouch either, matching Micheals playing with an equally techical display. Opening with Come On Over and showcasing the UK debut of Hook, Line and Sinker, they have the crowd in the palm of their hands from the first moment, both Mike and Ben display a swaggering confidence that you either love or hate, I loved them. They also chucked in the Iron Man riff by Black Sabbath for good measure.
Bring Me the Horizon are looking like future festival headliners with every live performance that goes by and today is no exception. Tight as a drum, they cause absolute bedlam in the pit and Oli Sykes commands everything with an influence Kanye West can only dream of. It’s not, however, as perfect a set they may have liked, their ever-evolving sound means older songs like Chelsea Smile and Blessed with a Curse lack the bite and rawness they once used to. The crowd didn’t care in the slightest and were all too happy to mosh to everything in sight. From the power of Shadow Moses through to the gentler strains of Drown, it’s a superb showing from on of Britain’s finest metal acts. The new material sounds excellent as well, especially opening number Happy Song – watch that become a huge anthem in the near future.
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And so, to the biggest metal band on the planet (and the festival self-proclaimed ‘houseband’) to close proceedings. ‘We’re Metallica, and this is what we do,’ opens James Hetfield before the San Francisco quartet kick into Fuel and show Bring Me the Horizon why they’re still topping bills around the world. Showcasing a very impressive multimedia show on enormous screens behind them, they take the Reading faithful through a career-spanning set that includes songs from every album other than ’St. Anger’ including a couple of very deep cuts in King Nothing and their cover of Bob Seger’s Turn the Page. They even dusted off The Day That Never Comes for its first UK performance in six years. The rarities are somewhat lost on an audience that is considerably more mainstream than somewhere like Download, but the sing-a-longs during the bigger hits are nothing short of impressive, particularly during a stunning rendition of The Memory Remains and Master of Puppets. Once again, pyros are left in the shed to allow the fan club to join them on stage and whilst it’s never going to get boring seeing the classics time after time, actually taking a break from live shows to get the new studio album done would be a welcome addition to all concerned. That said, we still get a gorgeous laser show for One and Nothing Else Matters, as well as the obligatory beachballs and fireworks during encore closer Enter Sandman. It’s a masterclass and Metallica will no doubt keep this up for another ten years to come, at least.
The Ecstasy of Gold Intro (Ennio Morricone song)
For Whom the Bell Tolls
Ride the Lightning
The Day That Never Comes
The Memory Remains
Sad But True
(followed by a bass solo)
Turn the Page (Bob Seger cover)
The Frayed Ends of Sanity
Master of Puppets
(followed by a guitar solo)
Fade to Black
Seek & Destroy
Whiskey in the Jar, dedicated to Cliff Burton
Nothing Else Matters
Other bands we watched:
Black Peaks provide a solid, if uninspiring dose of hardcore aggression before No Devotion play a very well-received set driven by a huge amount of emotion. ‘Thank you for all your support to us as we’ve gone through the break ups of our former bands’ frontman Geoff Rickly says before dedicating Stay to everyone present, ‘I was heartbroken when Thursday split up but the guys behind me had to go through the worst break up in music history and I want to thank you all for standing by us and allowing us to perform again.’ Perform they do, with all the energy and presence they had in their previous outfits. Irishmen And So I Watch You From Afar get pits going from start to finish during a bruising set whilst Baroness draw a healthy audience despite now starting during the second half of reformed Alexisonfire. Quite brilliantly, their lighting states change to match the colour of the album each song is from (red for the Red Album and so on) and new song Chlorine and Wine from upcoming album ‘Purple’ garners a good reception as well. PVRIS could just be the next big thing and then the mighty Gojira totally smashed it, Ghost started a little bit later than advertised, and that meant I could only watch one song before leaving for Metallica.
Additional reporting by Elliot Lever