Live Review: Leeds Festival 2012 – Friday.

Main Stage

Opening the Main Stage on the first day of a festival is never an easy thing to do for any band but this Leeds quartet pull it off in style. Pulled Apart By Horses draw a relatively big crowd for their early half an hour set and kick off today’s proceedings with screaming vocals bound to wake you up. The energy levels are high from the band which is reciprocated from the crowd, by the time ‘Back To The Fuck Yeah’ is played everyone is well and truly warmed up for the day. A brilliant homecoming festival performance.

Band Of Skulls are the next band to take to the stage and after a ferocious performance building up the momentum of the crowd, this band sort of take the mood and energy back down a notch. A few sing along moments are created but the music gets lost with two bands they are sandwiched between.

All Time Low are greeted with cheers and one of the biggest crowds of the day so far. The Baltimore quartet is here to bring new songs, their older classics and plenty of their typical banter. Their new song ‘The Reckless and The Brave’ goes down well with an audience made up of quite a few of their fans. Though the highlights of the set come from ‘Timebomb’s catchy chorus and the set closer ‘Dear Maria, Count Me In’.

Bullet For My Valentine have been around for long enough to have built up quite a big fan base and most of them are out in force today for one of the band’s biggest ever festival shows. The Welsh four piece play plenty of songs spanning their 3 album career but it falls to debut album classic ‘Tears Don’t Fall’ to really get the crowd motivated. Though they may not be to everyone’s taste, you can’t deny that they are quite good at what they do.

Kaiser Chiefs are hometown heroes and have played the festival to massive crowds every single time they have graced this field, tonight is no different. The Leeds quintet may not be as popular with some as they once were they are still a festival hit. Their live set is full of energy from frontman Ricky Wilson and more catchy sing along choruses than onsite burger vans*. ‘Ruby’, ‘I Predict A Riot’ and ‘Oh My God’ are three of the best of the set, a band I imagine that will always be a fixture of festivals like this. *may not be factually true.

The Black Keys are massive in America but here in the UK we are only just catching on to the hype after the release of their latest album ‘El Camino’. Understandably they draw a massive crowd, from long-time fans to curious bystanders but by the end of the set it seems like they have converted everyone to their cause. ‘Lonely Boy’ inevitably gets the biggest sing along of the set as it is the most well-known of their songs on these shores. With a brilliant performance like this it seems there profile will rise over here especially after their headline shows planned for this winter.

Foo Fighters need no introduction, no hyping up, no talking about the crowd they draw or that they have so many songs they could easily have headlined all 3 nights and not played the same song twice at all. They arrive onstage at 8:30pm and don’t leave until after 11, bar the time offstage before their encore which amounts to sheer minutes. Dave Grohl is what can only be described as a pro, an expert when it comes to music and live shows, he knows what the crowd wants the hits, the songs, an amazing performance and that is what they get. Roger Taylor from Queen’s son plays drums on their cover of Queen’s ‘Tie Your Mother Down’ which drummer Taylor Hawkins sings on. ‘All My Life’, ‘Rope’ and ‘The Pretender’ are all played within the first 20 minutes, 3 of the bands biggest songs gone before the set is even a quarter of the way through, proof if any was needed that this band have plenty of songs to play with in their set. They covered Pink Floyd’s ‘In The Flesh?’, they played old songs and new songs, it was a true rock and roll show throughout. Can any band in the future ever be as big a rock band as Foo Fighters are right now? I’m not too sure but they are the benchmark and a brilliant festival headliner.

Festival Republic Stage

The Australian duo DZ Deathrays have been causing chaos all over the world on their massive tours. Earlier this year they played a raucous show in London and now they are here to bring their new take on punk to the Leeds festival field. It’s a short set but one full of attitude and energy and ‘Dollar Chills’ was a particular highlight. With shows like this it’s easy to see that they will soon be working their way up festival bills and rightly so, one of watch out for over the coming months.

Some pictures from Friday:

DZ Deathrays.

Kaiser Chiefs.

The Black Keys.

Foo Fighters.

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