Marmozets / No Devotion / Pierce TheVeil / PVRIS / Royal Blood /
Bring Me The Horizon / Twin Atlantic / Metallica
Marmozets ( 8 )
The clouds linger above the main stage this morning, as thousands of heavily hung over people slowly make their way over to the arena for the final time this weekend. Those who made it out early enough were treated by the Leeds locals Marmozets who have probably only dreamt of taking on this stage over the years. But today is that day that Becca Macintyre and the gang have made it happen for their third appearance at Leeds Festival, and they are grabbing this opportunity with both hands and ringing it by the neck.
A small but rowdy crowd have survived the weekend to get up early enough to check out the Marmozets, who open with the immense ‘Move Shake Hide’ kicking and screaming throughout, even the drummer Josh Macintyre looks well up for this as he can’t sit still on his kit, constantly climbing on it and trying to get the crowd singing along.
Front woman Becca Macintyre sounds outstanding vocally, hitting all the notes and screaming along throughout ‘Captivate You’, before some Black Sabbath jamming at the end of ‘Particle’ which keeps the crowd well on their toes. The set jumps up a level with the whole band flying around the stage thrashing out the energetic ‘Born Young and Free’, which sounds incredible blasting out from the main stage speakers. The mighty Marmozets finish off warming up the crowd with a powerful performance of ‘Why Do You Hate Me?’ which has crowd surfers out for the first time today soaring over the front barrier, which begs the question, how can you hate the Marmozets when they put on one hell of a furious show like this?
No Devotion ( 8 )
The Lostprophets/Thursday super group No Devotion have kept things pretty quiet since they played a few one off shows over a year ago in club venues to kick off their brand new band. Now back on the stage with an album due out in little over a month, theres a few excited faces in the tent not quite knowing what to expect.
There is no big entrance for the Welsh/New Jersey Band who gather onstage to soundcheck their own gear as the tent slowly fills up, but who needs a big entrance when you’re smuggling in a set full of explosive new material like No Devotion are? Opener ‘Eyeshadow’ gets the show off to a great start with an energetic performance from the frontman Geoff Rickley and an immense guitar solo from Lee Gaze ringing out mid song. New track ‘Addition’ sounds just as great live as it does recorded, with it’s power-driven intro and strong vocal performance from the frontman. The breakdown has everyone clapping along to the pounding drums of Phillip Jenkins (Ex Kids in Glass Houses) before the stage bursts into movement, as the band throw themselves around thrashing out the last chorus of the song.
The core of this band have played together for roughly 18 years, so it’s no surprise that they sound as tight live as they do on their own records, and look the part playing big festivals like Reading & Leeds so comfortably and effortlessly. The show slows down temporarily for a chilling performance of ‘10,000 Summers’, another pre released song from the yet to come album which the crowd are familiar with and aren’t scared to play their part by singing along.
The super group thank the crowd for their “overwhelming support for a new band” since their previous bands collapsed, before ending the set on a high with ‘Permanent Sunlight’ which we hear for the first time. It feels much more upbeat and nowhere near as dark as the previous songs from the set, leaving Geoff Rickley climbing onto amps and into the crowd at the barrier, amongst everyone jumping around both on and off the stage with smiles across all their faces, which is refreshing to see after such a talented group of musicians rise from a dark couple of years.
A short but sweet set by the underdogs of the day, who set the bar high for The Pit stage this afternoon!
Pierce The Veil ( 7 )
It’s been a long time coming for Pierce The Veil to finally grace the stage for the first time at reading & Leeds festival, but ‘eye of the tiger’ is blasting out of the speakers with a mammoth Pierce The Veil banner towers from the main stage, as the Californian post-hardcore band take their positions on stage to kick off the show with brand new track ‘The Devine Zero’ to give us a peak into what we can expect from the bands upcoming album, and we love it. Big bouncy choruses, racing drums and a breakdown with some slick riffs makes the perfect way to start the set. ‘Hell Above’ follows to provide the crowd with some more heavy material and an infectiously lively chorus to have everyone singing and jumping along thanks to Vic Fuentes, who leads the way as his army of followers do precisely as he demands.
You get exactly what you would expect from Pierce The Veil, with a set full of super sized heavy tracks, a ton of energy, and mosh pits and crowd surfers, especially in tracks such as ‘Bulls In Bronx’ and ‘A Match Into Water’ which sound dominant on the main stage. A massive circle pit appears for the older ‘Caraphernelia’ which still goes down all the well, with bassist Jamie Preciado screaming viciously behind Vic’s vocals in the chorus.
The set closes with nothing over than the spectacular ‘King For A Day’, which sounds brilliant even without Sleeping With Sirens frontman Kellin Quinn. Everything from the eerie intro to the ruthless riffs from guitarist Tony Perry sounds perfect. Mosh pits break out all over the field for one final chorus, before the Californians leave the crowd well and truly ready to take on an evening of Bring Me The Horizon and Metallica.
PVRIS ( 9 )
All eyes are on PVRIS this year as they have picked up a massive following in the UK since the release of their debut album ‘white noise’. Having only performed as support for Lower Than Atlantis and at Slam Dunk festival in the UK so far this year, the Boston band return for the third time to play Reading & Leeds festival’s ‘the Pit’ stage, which is packed from wall to wall. Seriously, we’ve never seen it this busy, which must be a flattering sight for the front woman Lynn Gunn as she emerges from the smoke filled stage.
As you would expect, there is no smoke without fire, and that’s exactly how the set get underway with the tent clapping along to the intro to the current single ‘Fire’ which releases complete chaos in the tent as the adrenalin filled crowd start jumping to the catchy chorus. A little bit of a routine seems to have been worked on since we last saw PVRIS as guitarist Alex Babinski and bassist Brian Macdonald dance their way through the chorus in sync with some swift sidesteps to join in on the fun.
The next 20 minutes or so are filled with all the big guns from debut album ‘White Noise’ such as ‘Holy’ ‘White Noise’ and the super hit ‘St Patrick’ which has taken the UK by storm the past few months. Not a moment goes by that the crowd loose interest begging the question, why are PVRIS not higher up the bill? Or even on a bigger stage? Only the event organisers can answer that one, but I’m sure as hell whoever was lucky enough to be here, will be talking about “that time PVRIS played that tiny stage” as they are waiting for them to walk out on the main stage at this very festival within the next few years.
Needless to say PVRIS close the set with Lynn Gunn asking “Who’s house is this?!” to the ocean of followers in the tent, before they fire their way into the almighty ‘My House’ which ends with Lynn Gunn jumping down into the crowd to finish off the song, as she’s faced with a screaming mob surging forward hunting for a high five from the front woman of the hottest band on the planet right now.
Royal Blood ( 8 )
Rock Duo Royal Blood are returning to Reading & Leeds for only their second time, and they have shot up the bill this year on to the main stage to create one of the most anticipated sets of the day.
We can’t remember the last time we saw a main stage rock act with only two members to the band, but somehow the Brighton Duo of Mike Kerr (Bass and vocals) and Ben Thatcher (drums) seem to create the performance a full band would only dream of as they tear straight into the massive hit ‘Come On Over’. Looking at the size of the main stage you’d think it would eat the two up, but their confidence and furious rock music fills the stage with a heavy presence. They 100% deserve to be playing this stage after the success they have had with their self titled debut album over the past year, and the reaction to ‘Figure It Out’ says enough as the crowd cheer and clap along to the immense breakdown bass line that sparks a series of mosh pits and crowd surfers.
You can tell that Royal Blood have been touring with Foo Fighters this year, as they perform tracks such as ‘Little Monster’ and ‘Ten Tonne Skeleton’ with ease on such a large stage to a lot of people who aren’t just their to see them. The have also picked up a trick or two from Dave Ghrol in how to make a four minute song last twice as long with an immense exaggerated breakdown without getting everyone bored, and use it to build up the anticipation of each final chorus with an explosive response.
The Brighton Boys close the set with the ‘Out Of The Black’ as the whole main stage arena going crazy, even the drummer Ben Thatcher gets involved and goes crowd surfing as Mike Kerr shreds out a breakdown before returning to the stage for to finish off the set with an outro of Black Sabbath’s ‘Iron Man’. A fantastic performance from Royal Blood only to live up to the hype of everyone’s expectations. The bar seems to rise higher and higher on the main stage today, and nobody seems to have failed to take it to the next level just yet, but its getting more and more challenging.
Bring Me The Horizon ( 10 )
With Bring Me The Horizon on the brink of flying the flag for the British metal scene with their new highly anticipated album ‘That’s The Spirit’ set for release in a couple of weeks time, today show kicks off for the new album cycle, so it’s no surprise to see such a huge crowd gathered around the main stage to catch a glimpse of some fresh music.
Before we can get stuck in to some mosh pits and crowd surfing, a worker of Festival Republic walks on stage to tell the restless crowd to pay attention to the health and safety video on the main stage screens before being booed and jeered off. However all becomes clear as a quirky tongue and cheek health and safety video from Bring Me The Horizon, tells the Leeds crowd to “refrain from lighting flairs to recreate the ‘Shadow Moses’ Video”, and that if “you leave the show in an excellent state of mind, and have experienced little to no injuries, we apologies and suggest you try harder next time.” The crowd are laughing along, up until the end of the video which states “now we would like to ask you to open this fucking place up as big as it will go…” to which the laughs dim out and the pits grow rapidly, whilst the video breaks down into the intro for ‘Happy Song’.
The band takes to the stage with Lead singer Oli Sikes screaming “What’s up Leeds!?” with explosion of CO2 cannons blast high into the sky, and full throttle mosh pits break out to the electric riffs from guitarist Lee Malia. The biggest crowd of the day chant along to the surprisingly upbeat track from BMTH breaking out a massive party to see them return to this stage. We’re only minutes into the set and they have already blown themselves head above the rest on the main stage today.
The set progresses with some familiar songs from their previous ground breaking album ‘Sempiternal’ with songs such as ’Shadow Moses’, ‘The House Of Wolves’ and the furious ‘Go To Hell For Heavens Sake’ which keep fists and bodies flying into the air across the wild crowd. The second new track to feature in the set is the current single ‘Thrones’ which sounds unbelievably good with it’s electric intro breaking into true moshing material as it leaves the arena shouting “whooooa oooh!” along to the chorus. This is a massive tune by BMTH who have surpassed themselves, and it boasts high expectations for the upcoming album. Crowd Favourite ‘Can You Feel My Heart’ follows with an equally satisfying performance from the Sheffield lads. “I was expecting a Yorkshire chant!?” shouts Oli Sykes grinning from ear to ear as the crowd yell it out loud and proud, before the front man calls for crowd surfers for ‘Sleepwalking’ as he dishes out high fives to those who make it over the barrier.
Oli takes a moment to thank everyone for saving his life from his drug addiction, as he “would be dead right now if it wasn’t for you guys”. You can feel the real positivity coming through on the new material in comparison to ‘Sempiternal’, which is clearly about the dark times which he speaks about. An emotionally charged ‘Blessed With A Curse’ follows to take the crowd back to some older material seeing everyone up on shoulders with their lighters out.
They finish the night of with another more recent track ‘Drown’, which finds the band ready to vacate the stage leaving everyone bouncing as high as they can, moshing as hard as they can, and singing and screaming as loud as possible, ready to take on tonight’s headliners Metallica who are going to need all the luck they can get to follow this performance worthy of a headline slot.
With a set full of stunning visuals, crowd pleasing anthems, mosh pits and CO2 cannons, it’s clear to us and everyone watching that Bring Me The Horizon are on the brink of something massive right now.
Twin Atlantic ( 10 )
I would be lying if I didn’t say that Twin Atlantic wasn’t the band that stood out on the line up for us today. It’s their 5th year in a row at this festival, and they have finally been given a perfect spot on the line up late on the NME Tent to prove their worth. Today is their final show of their extensive summer festival tour and it’s set to be a pretty epic one. It also marks the end of the ‘Great Divide’ album cycle since it’s release just over a year ago, when they performed a bunch of new tracks across the field on the main stage.
So tonight is a party for Twin Atlantic more than anyone, and what more of a fitting way to kick it off with the enthusiastic ‘Fall into the Party’ which is greeted with screams and cheers all around as a blast of streamers shoots out over the Leeds crowd in the intro. Frontman Sam McTrusty hits the stage hidden under a hooded raincoat as usual, which we can guarantee he won’t need tonight as the Leeds crowd turn up the heat after the frontman yells “It’s the end of the fucking weekend Leeds! Let’s finish the part!”, before throwing us into the bouncy opening riff of ‘Hold On’ seeing the tent jumping from front to back.
Sam tells the crowd “This is the last show of our album cycle and we made sure it was at Reading and Leeds, we told them the last one had to be at Leeds! So let’s see if it was worth it!?” The raincoat comes off and the lads get down to business by taking the show to the next level, as the immense hit single ‘Free’ is next on the agenda with its progressive verse leading to an explosive sing along chorus which we are sure everyone over at the main stage can hear us singing as it’s so ridiculously loud tonight! Another super hit ‘Make A Beast Of Myself’ from the debut album ‘Free’ follows, as one of the highlights of the set tonight creating an electric atmosphere inside the NME tent.
As the Scottish rockers plough through a set of eruptive songs, they prove they are here to compete with the big boys. They both look and sound tight as a band on such a large stage together, which would be expected after a year off hard touring off the back of their second full length album.
Even within an hours set crammed with massive tunes from ‘Free’ and ‘Great Divide’, they manage to slip in the power driven golden oldie ‘What is Light? Where is Laughter?’ from their E.P ‘Vivarium’ which still goes down as well as ever with the ferocious festival crowd throwing out a few mosh pits. A graceful performance of ‘Crash Land’ has the crowd singing so loud you can’t even hear the frontman singing his heart out. The acoustics sound incredible echoing through the tent, especially with lead guitarist Barry McKenna showing us his skills with the Cello making the moment even more so beautiful.
The Glaswegians throw themselves back into the party atmosphere with the electrifying ‘I Am An Animal’ with an extended breakdown mid song for some crowd participation clapping along, before being ordered to sit down by the frontman; “I wanna see everyone sitting down… if you’re a good person you’ll be sitting down, if you’re a wanker, your probably on your fucking feet!”
Obviously nobody wants to be the “wanker” so the whole crowd is low on the ground as the breakdown continues with Sam counting to four, to release pandemonium in the NME tent with everyone leaping to their feet as more streamers shoot through the sky, with the band flying across the stage thrashing out the end of probably the highlight of the day.
As you would expect, the show finishes with the emotional ‘Brothers and Sisters’ through a rainstorm of confetti, and the hit lead single ‘Heart and Soul’ from ‘Great Divide’, leaving the adrenalin filled crowd moshing and punching giant coloured balloons filled with confetti through the air. The frontman charges down to the barrier to thank the crowd for an amazing night, and their incredible support at this festival for the past five years.
We’re left drenched in sweat making our way out from the NME stage, with a few fans running out around on their tip toes with giant coloured balloons trying to keep hold of a memento of Twin Atlantic at their very best.
Metallica ( 8 )
Tonight’s final main stage headliner is the mighty Metallica, who return to the Leeds stage for the first time since their last headline slot in 2008.
The lights drop to darkness and a video showing a clip of the film ‘The good, The Bad and The Ugly’ plays on the screens on the main stage as ‘The Ecstasy of Gold’ rings out from the speakers. Metallica stroll out onto the stage and assume their positions, as the frontman James Hetfield looks out to the thousands of cheering rock fans. “We’re Metallica, and this is what we do… Gimme Fuel gimme fire gimme that which I desire!” The place explodes as the Leeds crowd bounce and mosh away to the tenacious opener ‘Fuel’, not that this crowd needs any more fuel to fire themselves for a set full of metal anthems as everyone around has been waiting intensely for Metallica to hit the stage tonight. The stage, like the crowd, is bouncing along too as dozens of lucky Metallica fans fill the back of the stage behind legendary drummer Lars Ulrich, boxed in by towering screen displaying fire shooting up across the stage to make things look even more hotter than the sweaty moshing crowd themselves.
James Hetfield addresses the crowd again after a sweltering start to ‘Blackened’, “How does it feel to be alive Leeds?!” Cheers are cried back in response to the frontman as he and guitarist Kirk Hammett shred their way into an immense solo to finish the song. From here on, the set is packed full of Metallica madness, with power driven riffs, squelching solos, thunderous drums through thrashing performances of ‘The Memory Remains’, ‘Sad but True’ and ‘The Day That Never Comes’.
James won’t let the crowd settle for a second as he’s constantly getting them to sing along with every chance he gets. The axe man Kirk Hammett never seems to stop amazing us, as he boasts amazing supercharged solos scattered through the set that would even give Slash a good run for his money.
As fantastic as Metallica are live they are an acquired taste, and many festival goers have headed elsewhere mid set to check out some other smaller stage headliners. But those who hang around are treated to a spectacular closing featuring the notorious ‘Master Of Puppets’, which tears through the speakers as mosh pits break out across the head of the crowd below the band. Another rather impressive solo by Kirk follows before the band leaves the stage after ‘Seek & Destroy’.
Screams and whistles fill the arena as the crowd pull Metallica back out to the stage for an astonishing encore featuring an emotionally charged performance of ‘Whiskey in the Jar’ dedicated to Cliff Burton, ex Bassist of Metallica (who died tragically in a bus accident back in 1986). In true Metallica style the band and crowd alike shred through the song in memory of their fallen soldier with its vigorous riffs and it’s electric chorus. ‘Nothing Else Matters’ follows and ends with James Hetfield on his knees ringing and bleeding out his guitar.
The camera man zooms into the front man’s hand grasping a plectrum with “Got Riff?” printed across it, before spinning it to show “Metallica 2015” on the reverse side as he releases the devil horns to the cheering crowd. You wouldn’t expect to hear anything other than the opening riff of ‘Enter Sandman’ unleashed onto the screaming mob, which kicks in with hundreds of giant black inflatable Metallica balloons springing across the crowd which looks like a whole lot of fun for those at the front. The final chorus detonates with fireworks shooting into the sky and thousands of Metallica fans punching the air to the outro. A perfect way to finish the weekend leaving the crowd wandering out of the arena to the voice of the frontman shouting “Metallica loves you Leeds!”
Another spectacular Reading & Leeds Festival comes to a close. Roll on next year, as it’s going to have to be pretty damn special to beat this weekend!
Review – Danny Peart